Birth of the Fifth Sun: And Other Mesoamerican Tales (Hardback)Jo Harper
Hardback Published: 15/04/2008
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Many of these seventeen short tales deriving from Mesoamerican mythology are traditional and have traveled through time among the indigenous people of Mexico and Central America. A few are contemporary and seem to originate with Nahuatl-speaking descendants of the Aztecs. All of them, however, grace the pages here in lively fashion for young readers nine and up. Many middle schools include Aztec and Mayan myths in their curricula, but the selection is narrow, the sources scattered, and the stories themselves usually undeveloped, even fragmentary. Most of the stories are found only in scholarly works far beyond the grasp of young readers. Now, enlarging upon the mythology that frames the decision making of her young adult hero and heroine in "Delfino's Journey" and "Teresa's Journey", Jo Harper fleshes out tales of Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca for fourth through sixth graders. Young readers will also meet the Jaguar Sun, the Snake Woman, and the Pepper Man. To be as faithful as possible to the pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican worldview and humor of the original tales, Harper consulted closely with indigenous Nahuatl speakers and cultural anthropologists, yet her delivery has all the freshness and polish of a practiced storyteller who knows her audience. Here then for young readers and their teachers is an engaging introduction to Mesoamerican mythology and to an oral tradition worth preserving well beyond the classroom. Part One of this title includes: "Quetzalcoatl and Tezca: Birth of the Fifth Sun"; "Who Will Be the People?"; "Corn Mountain"; "Who Can Teach the People?"; "Music Is Born"; "Quetzalcoatl Falls"; "Tezca Shows His Power"; "Master Log"; "The Pepper Man"; and, "Tezca's Music". Part Two contains: "Tricks and Mistakes: The Thunder Spirits' New Cook"; "The Buzzard Husband"; "Rafael Outsmarts the Nahual"; "Lalito and the Nahual"; "The Devils Cave"; "The Possum's Tale"; and, "Chioconejo Rabbit and Coyote".
Publisher: Texas Tech Press,U.S.