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The Daykeeper presents a unique view, of the life of a modern Mayan holy man—his religious beliefs and practices, his stories and folktales, his philosophy of living, his struggle for daily bread and peace of mind.
In the hands of Benjamin and Lore Colby, the daykeeper’s testimony be comes an important vehicle for understanding a culture that is a direct descendant of the high Mayan civilization of the past.
The Colbys show that there are intelligible cultural principles that organize the daykeeper’s methods of divination and guide his interpretation of dreams and his cures for the sick. There is also a clear cultural pattern underlying the stores he telIs and the morals that he draws from them. When these patterns are used to inform our perception of the daykeeper’s experience of life, we gain a rich, understanding of the relation between culture and thought as well as a rare and privileged insight into the mind of a highly religious man.
The Daykeeper is an unusual combination of compelling life history and sophisticated cultural analysis. This is a benchmark book in American anthropology that can be read with understanding and enjoyment by expert and layman alike.