Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

More Maya Missions: Exploring Colonial Chiapas

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

More Maya Missions: Exploring Colonial Chiapas

Article excerpt

PERRY, RICHARD D. More Maya Missions: Exploring Colonial Chiapas. (Santa Barbara, California: Espadana Press. 1994. Pp. 128. $12.95 paperback.)

This small volume is a descriptive guide to the colonial architecture of Chiapas, mostly churches built by the Dominican friars between 1551 and 1821. More Maya Missions is well illustrated with forty-three inked, detailed drawings of churches and other structures, some maps, a glossary, an index, and a small select bibliography. The printing quality leaves something to be desired, and the reader will have to be content with the book's utilitarian value. Nevertheless, More Maya Missions captures the beauty and power of the churches and buildings of colonial Chiapas. It is useful as a quick reference or as an aid to the traveler who has but limited time in which to glean some appreciation of the extensive contributions of the Spanish colonial religious establishment to the architecture of Chiapas.

The present volume is Richard Perry's third contribution to the descriptive and illustrative corpus of Mexican colonial architecture. In style and spirit,More Maya Missions follows the earlier Maya Missions by the same author and his wife, which dealt with the colonial churches of Yucatan. In Yucatan, however, the colonial architectural treasure was allowed to deteriorate and was vandalized for several hundred years. In Chiapas, in spite of many turbulent times, including the present, the municipalities as well as the colonial authorities took interest and some care in preserving the architectural heritage. …

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