Synopses & Reviews
The Legend of Lord Eight Deer is a retelling of the great epic saga of the Mixtec people of Mexico recorded in pictographs painted on deer-hide codices more than 500 years ago. The legend begins with the mysterious murder of three princes and unfolds as Lord Eight Deer embarks on a quest to rule his kingdom that takes him to the gates of the Sun God himself. It is a story of breathtaking beauty-a story of gods and kings, heroes and princesses, thieves and holy men, and the betrayal of love. John Pohl's vivid retelling and dazzling illustrations brings to life the last great flowering of Mesoamerican civilization. "The Story Behind the Story," an illustrated section immediately following the retelling, offers a dynamic look at the history, religion, warfare, and daily life of the Mixtec people, the ancient codices, and the legacy of the tale today.
"With a basis in historical fact, the story cycle of Lord Eight Deer is retold from the Mixtec codices. A complex tale, replete with murder, adultery, and dynastic ambitions, the retelling is epic in structure.... Pohl's illustrations are excellent, rendered in the Mesoamerican style....Informational pages, inserted every 8 to 10 pages and illustrated with color photos and reproductions, give background on Mixtec culture as it has been reconstructed from archaeological evidence....Beautifully made...intriguing and scholarly."--School Library Journal
"A lyrical, labyrinthine tale about the royal line of two families who clash murderously and reroute the fate of their people."--Booklist
"Delightfully told and wonderfully illustrated....Readers of Mesoamerica will enjoy the volume for its folkloric content based on oral tradition."--Colonial Latin American Historical Review
"Brutal and noble, magical and tragic, the story of this ancient Mixtec ruler has all the elements of myth, yet is shown to be firmly rooted in history....Pohl does an admirable job of pulling us into the ancient, alien world of the Mixtec and making the long-dead heroes of legend come brilliantly, feelingly alive. Through everyday language, breathtaking photos and easy-to-follow diagrams, this book makes archaeology, history, and anthropology accessible to anyone who doesn't have any background in Mexican folklore or history."--Santa Fe New Mexican
About the Author
John M. D. Pohl
is a research archaeologist at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, U.C.L.A., and the author of The Politics of Symbolism in the Mixtec Codices
and Exploring Mesoamerica
. He lives in Los Angeles.