Rights, Resources, Culture, and Conservation in the Land of the Maya

Rights, Resources, Culture, and Conservation in the Land of the Maya

Rights, Resources, Culture, and Conservation in the Land of the Maya

Rights, Resources, Culture, and Conservation in the Land of the Maya

Excerpt

This volume was conceived after a session titled Yucatec Maya Political and Cultural Ecology: Papers in Honor of Mary Lindsay Elmendorf, held at the Ninety-Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC, November 19–23, 1997. At the end of a dinner in celebration of Elmendorf’s eightieth birthday, the session speakers encouraged us to develop an edited volume based on the papers we had all presented earlier that day.

The eight chapters by session speakers have been thoroughly revised and updated, and we have included three additional chapters. The first is about Maya women, volunteered by Mary Elmendorf, who also suggested the inclusion of a chapter by Joann Andrews, a longtime friend of hers and founder of Pronatura Península de Yucatán, a local conservation organization. The third addition is by Jenny Ericson, who has done applied work in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, an area of great significance not only to the ancient Maya but also to contemporary issues central to the topic of this book.

The introductory chapter sets the scene, introducing the reader to the Yucatan Peninsula and the Maya who have lived there for more than 3,000 years. It alerts the reader to some of the outstanding issues that need to be considered if we are to understand culture and conservation in Maya (or any other) communities—particularly human rights, community, and the complexities of political ecology.

This is followed by Alicia Re Cruz’s chapter on the background, contributions, and leadership of Mary Elmendorf, whose tireless work and unshakable . . .

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