Birds and beasts of ancient Latin America

By Benson, Elizabeth P.

Publishers Summary:
Elizabeth P. Benson provides an engaging overview of the depiction of animals in the pre-Columbian art of Latin America. Drawing on an extensive set of images (many of them previously unpublished) from the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Florida Museum of Natural History, she examines the practical, ritualistic, and mythic importance of animals in pre-Columbian life as well as the meanings that animals still have for the modern descendants of those indigenous peoples. Conveniently arranged by animal groups and beautifully illustrated, Benson's survey encompasses all artistic media and spans the pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Providing information on animals and the beliefs surrounding them, the cultural contexts of their depiction, and the cultures to which they were important, Birds and Beasts of Ancient Latin America will appeal to archaeologists, cultural hisorians, and anthropologists; to anyone interested in pre-Columbian art and mythology; and to modern-day bird and animal lovers.

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ISBN
978-0-81301-518-7
Publisher
Gainesville, Fla. : University Press of Florida, c1997.


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on November 15, 1997

A research associate at the Institute of Andean Studies, Bethesda, Maryland, Benson addresses the rich heritage of faunal lore and animal representation produced by the great pre-Columbian cultures of the Middle Andean region, Mesoamerica, and the less-well-known Intermediate Area in this introductory handbook. She succinctly describes aspects of the religious, social, and even political meanings evoked by a...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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