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MORE MAYA MISSIONS Exploring Colonial Chiapas

Ever since the January 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, the attention of the world has been riveted on events in Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state.

After the 16th century Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas took up their cause in 1545, the plight of the highland Maya of Chiapas has occupied center stage in the history of this scenic but impoverished region. During his brief term as the first bishop of Chiapas, Las Casas encouraged the founding of Indian missions across the area, many of which remain in use by the Maya to this day.

Forged in the artistic traditions of Islamic and Christian Spain, these unique colonial buildings also drew on the heritage of ancient Mexico and Guatemala, infused with the spirit of the Maya.

Our affordable guidebook sympathically describes these missions, as well as the other notable Spanish colonial monuments of this isolated region: city churches, Dominican monasteries and convents, urban mansions and even a 16th century fountain -- among the most spectacular colonial structures in the Americas.

The first part of the guide looks at the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the colonial capital of Chiapas. There, we walk the visitor through its cathedral, urban churches and monasteries, colonial mansions and humble barrio chapels, describing the colonial artworks that they contain.

In the second Chapter we explore southern Chiapas, the less visited towns and villages between San Cristóbal and the Guatemalan border, and their often overlooked colonial monuments. The last chapter describes the ancient town of Chiapa de Corso and its colonial buildings, notable its spectacular 16th century brick fountain unique in the Americas, and describes a foray north into the little known Zoque region of Chiapas, with its great ruined Dominican missions.

Author Richard Perry once again enhances his survey of the distinctive viceregal arts and architecture of the region with his beautifully detailed line drawings.

Essential reading for the traveler along the "Ruta Maya", More Maya Missions is also a valuable reference work, complete with helpful maps, glossary, bibliography and full index.

$12.95. Paperback. 6"x9" 128 pages

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