Synopses & Reviews
This wonderful folktale reveals some of the down-to-earth wisdom of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. At the same time, it provides us with a fresh perspective on the struggles of the people there. They fight to conserve their culture and a vision of the world which they see as flowering with holinessand#151;a holiness that cannot be measured in dollars or defined by politics.
The text for La Historia de los Colores is taken from the communiquand#233; dated October 27, 1994 from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos to the Mexican People. Originally published in Mexico with illustrations by Domitila Domand#237;nguez as La Historia de los Colores and#169; 1996 by Colectivo Callejero, Guadalajara.
Who is Marcos?
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is the military strategist and spokesperson for the Zapatistas, an indigenous guerrilla movement in Mexico. It is his person, more than any other factor, that has pushed the Zapatista movement and the plight of the indigenous people in Mexico onto the international scene. Marcos continues to be the focus of media attentionand#151;in Mexico, in the States, and internationally, despite the Mexican governmentand#8217;s attempts to discredit him.
On New Yearand#8217;s Day, 1994, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos and the Zapatistas, wearing their trademark ski masks, erupted on the world scene by declaring war on the Mexican government and attacking military installations in San Cristand#243;bal, Chiapas. Since that time, Marcosand#151;because of his charm, intelligence and mystiqueand#151;has become a post-modern revolutionary hero. In his communiquand#233;s to the Mexican people, he has often related folktales and stories that reflect the culture and wisdom of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas.
But no one seems to know who Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is. The Mexican Government claims he is Rafael Guillen, but theyand#8217;re literalists. He says heand#8217;s a Mexican like any other, born somewhere between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and between the northern and southern borders. He says he wears a ski mask because he is no longer whoever he was.
"andhellip;[A] lovely book, gracefully translatedandhellip;and distinguishedandhellip;by the vibrant illustrations in pastel and paint byandhellip;an indigenous artist from Oaxaca, Mexico. It will delight young readers of Spanish and English (the text is printed in both languages)andhellip;" andmdash; New York Times Book Review
"The Story of Colors reflects a literary, sometimes whimsical side that has distinguished Subcomandante Marcos, the only non-Indian among the Zapatistas' highest leaders, from other steely Latin American guerrilla commanders." andmdash;The New York Times
"The text, colloquial and rolling in both Spanish and English, has rhythm, motion, and a sense of authenticityandhellip;[THe book] stands alone as a lovely, integrated folktale with a meaning and message all its own, and is deserving of purchase." andmdash;School Library Journal
"This beautiful book reminds us that the Zapatista movement is one of dignity that emanates from the grassroots of the indigenous people of Mexico. It is a lesson for all of us in the human spirit." andmdash;Indigo Girls, Amy Ray
"The Story of Colors reminds me of the kind of stories told in my own Mvskoke country. Itand#8217;s rich in detail, humor and wisdom, and within it is the sense that we are part of some large amazing universe that will go on creating itself despite the foibles of humans, other creatures and gods." andmdash;Joy Harjo
"Here, Antonio offers an allegory not of 'diversity'and#151;a timid, lackluster thingand#151;but of dissatisfaction and its creative possibilities. The world that seems fixed and oppressive can be changed; the 'gods' can be anyone, but what they make they must safeguard against forgetfulness in case the spirit of revolt should dim or be tamped down. And so the gods, who color the world with a thrilling abandon, use the last of their pigment to paint the feathers of the macaw, a bird revered in the highlands, 'because they didnand#8217;t want to forget the colors or lose them.' " andmdash;The Nation
In a story related to the Mexican people by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, as told to him by the very wise Viejo Antonio, readers learn how the world blossomed with color--thanks in great part to the toucan. 20 full-color oil paint illustrations.
Children's Fiction. Folkore. Latino/a Studies. THE STORY OF COLORS has been an issue of controversy since it came out earlier this year. Richly illustrated, this delightful myth about how the gods created color might have quietly entered the canon of children's literature had it not been written by Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the insurgent rebels in Chiapas, Mexico. Instead, both children and adults are now reading a tale that reminds us that the Zapatista movement is one of dignity that emanates from the grassroots of the indigenous people of Mexico. It is a lesson for all of us in the human spirit. --Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. A Bilingual edition, translated from the Spanish by Anne Bar Din.
In the jungles of Chiapas, el Subcomandante Marcos learns how the world blossomed with colors.