This is the story of an anthropologist's encounter with a Huichol Indian known as 'Mad Jesus'. Jesus was an artisan, a shaman, a self-styled prophet, a mad messiah, and a murderous mystic. Timothy J Knab was a young anthropologist soliciting life histories from Huichols in Mexico City when they met. The life story of Jesus may have been the ravings of a madman, but it also embodied the Huichol anticipation of the return of Santo Cristo, the saviour who will restore the Huichol to their place as masters of the world around them. Neither Knab's studies in anthropology nor his experiences in the world of counterculture prepared him to understand this strange Indian and his violent history and behaviour. A narrative of frightening encounters with a charismatic deviant, the tale culminates in the quest to discover what really happened when Jesus was killed in a police shootout thirty years after Knab's last disturbing confrontation with him. The book provides an overview of the Huichol and the plight of Mesoamerican Indians. It also sheds light on traditional religion, indigenous Catholicism, messianic cults, urbanisation, and indigenous conflicts with the modern Mexican state.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Number of pages: 279
Weight: 602 g
Dimensions: 230 x 155 x 25 mm
." . . strangely haunting book. . . utterly convincing and unforgettable."
"Knab is a skilled storyteller. . . a book that kept my attention riveted to the page."
." . . fascinating tale of indigenous millenarianism. . . [Knab's] account is truly captivating. His popularizing approach will appeal to a broad audience fascinated by Mexican indigenous cultures."
"Those who might enjoy a wild ride through the visionary and unbalanced mind of a Huichol should try "Mad Jesus,"