Oaxaca: The Spirit of Mexico by Judith Cooper Haden
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oaxaca...the part of Mexico that doesn't believe it is part of Mexico. Oaxaca: The Spirit of Mexico shows the reader how different this part of the country is compared with the rest.
I say "show" because this is essentially a picture book with lots of captions.
(Above images are from the book. Those below are not.)
Is it different? I don't know. I've only ever been to Tijuana and no country should be judged as a whole by a place like TJ. However, I'm going to Oaxaca for an extended stay and in preparation I am studying up on the place. The only thing I knew about the place is that it has a good deal of history. It stretches back thousands of years, involves conquest and an envelopment of a new culture into the old.
But history is about the dead and there's more to life than history. Cooper-Haden's Oaxaca also made me aware that:
Handicrafts are still ripe in the region...
Traditional regional foods are cherished and maintained...
Holidays celebrated with gusto for hundreds of years...
But also that Oaxacans believe life is for the living, so I'm going to go down there and do just that! This is not the ultimate travel guide, nor is it meant to be. I'll need to pick up something from Lonely Planet or Frommers for that. But I'm glad I snagged this from the library and had a gander. It made me more aware of the place and gave me some must-see sightseeing ideas.
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