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In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities

by

In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Traveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, "Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time."

This ethnography juxtaposes the context of post-war reconstruction at home, shaped by a fragile institutional peace process and emerging pan-Maya movement, with the hidden, marginal lives of mostly undocumented K'iche' transmigrants in New England, and describes the continuous movement of people, money, symbols, and ideas between the two locations. Transnational migration creates tension between material success and K'iche' traditional suspicion of standing out and displaying that success. Showing off or losing touch with one's responsibilities at home can invite envidias (envy), chismes (malicious gossip), and even brujería (witchcraft).

Some of the perpetrators of violence in Guatemala have re-created their positions of dominance in Providence. One K'iche' recounts, "He used a notebook, like the one you have, and each time I took even a glass of water he would write it down. He charged me $300 just for arriving, those $300 were like a tip for him. He told me he would not help me find work, and he would drink a lot and would say, 'You thought it would be easy here, you thought it is just picking up dollars here--well, you are screwed.'"

For students, the book provides rich accounts of the difficulties of entering the field and maintaining trust among people in divided and changing communities.

Book News Annotation:

During the civil war in Guatemala in the 1980s, many K'iche Mayans in the town of Xinxuc, in the El Quiche highlands, fled the genocide of natives by immigrating to Providence, Rhode Island. Foxen (women's health, Toronto General Hospital and anthropology, U. of Toronto) explores how a quarter century of commerce in people, money, goods, and ideas between the two places has impacted the town's Mayan Indian population. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Traveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time.

Synopsis:

Traveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, "Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time." This ethnography juxtaposes the context of post-war reconstruction at home, shaped by a fragile institutional peace process and emerging pan-Maya movement, with the hidden, marginal lives of mostly undocumented K'iche' transmigrants in New England, and describes the continuous movement of people, money, symbols, and ideas between the two locations. Transnational migration creates tension between material success and K'iche' traditional suspicion of standing out and displaying that success. Showing off or losing touch with one's responsibilities at home can invite envidias (envy), chismes (malicious gossip), and even brujería (witchcraft). Some of the perpetrators of violence in Guatemala have re-created their positions of dominance in Providence. One K'iche' recounts, "He used a notebook, like the one you have, and each time I took even a glass of water he would write it down. He charged me $300 just for arriving, those $300 were like a tip for him. He told me he would not help me find work, and he would drink a lot and would say, "You thought it would be easy here, you thought it is just picking up dollars here--well, you are screwed." For students, the book provides rich accounts of the difficulties of entering the field and maintaining trust among people in divided and changing communities.

About the Author

Patricia Foxen is a Research Associate at the Toronto General Hospital, Women's Health Program, cross-appointed at the University of Toronto Anthropology Department. She was previously a Research Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, and has worked as an anthropologist for the Transcultural Psychiatry Division of Montreal Children's Hospital.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826515810
Subtitle:
Transnational Mayan Identities
Author:
Foxen, Patricia
Publisher:
Vanderbilt University Press
Subject:
Emigration and immigration
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
Quiche Indians
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Hispanic American Studies
Subject:
Latin America - Central America
Subject:
Central America
Subject:
Latin American Studies, Immigration, Ethnicity, Identity, Anthropology, Sociology
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration and Immigration
Subject:
Quiche Indians - Guatemala - Quiche -
Subject:
Sociology; Anthropology; Latin American Studies; Ethnography
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Latin American studies
Subject:
Ethnography
Subject:
World History-Central America
Subject:
Sociolo
Subject:
gy
Edition Description:
short discount paperback
Publication Date:
20080118
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
376
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
» History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Hispanic American Studies
» History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
» History and Social Science » Latin America » Guatemala
» History and Social Science » World History » Central America

In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities New Trade Paper
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Product details 376 pages Vanderbilt University Press - English 9780826515810 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Traveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time.
"Synopsis" by , Traveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, "Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time." This ethnography juxtaposes the context of post-war reconstruction at home, shaped by a fragile institutional peace process and emerging pan-Maya movement, with the hidden, marginal lives of mostly undocumented K'iche' transmigrants in New England, and describes the continuous movement of people, money, symbols, and ideas between the two locations. Transnational migration creates tension between material success and K'iche' traditional suspicion of standing out and displaying that success. Showing off or losing touch with one's responsibilities at home can invite envidias (envy), chismes (malicious gossip), and even brujería (witchcraft). Some of the perpetrators of violence in Guatemala have re-created their positions of dominance in Providence. One K'iche' recounts, "He used a notebook, like the one you have, and each time I took even a glass of water he would write it down. He charged me $300 just for arriving, those $300 were like a tip for him. He told me he would not help me find work, and he would drink a lot and would say, "You thought it would be easy here, you thought it is just picking up dollars here--well, you are screwed." For students, the book provides rich accounts of the difficulties of entering the field and maintaining trust among people in divided and changing communities.
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