Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples

Spanish Explorations of the South East Maya Lowlands

Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples

Latin America in Translation/En Traducción/Em Tradução

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Book Pages: 296 Illustrations: 15 figures Published: February 2001

Anthropology, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies

Long after the Aztecs and the Incas had become a fading memory, a Maya civilization still thrived in the interior of Central America. Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples is the first collection and translation of important seventeenth-century narratives about Europeans travelling across the great “Ocean Sea” and encountering a people who had maintained an independent existence in the lowlands of Guatemala and Belize.
In these narratives—primary documents written by missionaries and conquistadors—vivid details of these little known Mayan cultures are revealed, answering how and why lowlanders were able to evade Spanish conquest while similar civilizations could not. Fascinating tales of the journey from Europe are included, involving unknown islands, lost pilots, life aboard a galleon fleet, political intrigue, cannibals, and breathtaking natural beauty. In short, these forgotten manuscripts—translations of the papers of the past—provide an unforgettable look at an understudied chapter in the age of exploration.
Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples will appeal to archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians interested in Central America, the Maya, and the Spanish Conquest.


“Although limited to a regional focus, the documents provide insight into Spanish colonial rule in general. The smooth translation enables nonspecialists to read the book easily.” — M. A. Burkholder , Choice

“Feldman provides us with a most useful brief preface that serves as historical introduction to the principal authors included in the anthology. . . . The significance of this anthology is manifold.” — Claudio M. Burgaleta S.J. , Sixteenth Century Journal

"Over the past two decades, independent scholar Lawrence H. Feldman has earned a reputation among scholars of colonial Guatemala as a master of its archives. There is almost no topic from the history of the region for which Feldman cannot produce a reference to some archival gem. . . . [A] fascinating collection that will be of interest to a broad spectrum of readers. . . . The preface is engagingly written . . . . [T]he notes are . . . helpful and well researched . . . . The book is nicely endowed with three maps and fifteen illustrations . . . . [A] useful resource for scholars and graduate students and an enjoyable read for a wide range of readers."

— Matthew Restall , The Historian

"This book provides the specialist information on the Manchu Chol previously unavailable in print and is therefore an important addition to the documentation on the Maya in translation." — Charlotte M. Gradie , Hispanic American Historical Review

“It is exciting to have a translation of these important early documents finally available. Feldman is widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars in Central American ethnohistoric studies. His grasp of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish and paleography is superior, his translations are accurate and faithful to the documents while being understandable to the nonspecialist, and the amount of cultural, geographic, and economic information contained in these documents is amazing.” — Karen Olsen Bruhns, San Francisco State University

“This is totally new, very important material. Specialists in the field will be very pleased to see it in print—Feldman has been known to have been burrowing in the archives for a long time now, and this is spectacular fruit.” — Norman Hammond, Boston University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Lawrence H. Feldman is an anthropologist, researcher, writer, and indexer. His previous books include A Tumpline Economy and Anglo-Americans in Spanish Archives.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Illustrations xi

Note to the Reader xiii

Preface xv

1 Beginnings. 1574-1606 1

2 Georgraphy of the Lowlands: Gabriel Salazar, 1620 21

3 Across the Ocean Sea: Martin Tovilla, 1630 55

4 Borderlands: Martin Tovilla, 1635 85

5 Coming of the Soldiers: Martin Tovilla. 1635 116

6 The Lies of Friar Moran, 1636 151

7 Between Two Worlds ,1653-1654 158

8 The Rediscovery of the Manché Chol, 1676 170

9 The Itinerary of Friar Joseph Delgado, 1677 181

10 Collection and Removal, 1685-1700 187

11 Raids of the Mosquito Zambo, 1704-1733 217

Postscript and Further Readings, 1766-1733 221

Appendices 223
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2624-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2630-4
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