The Mystery of Charles Wisdom: <i>Producing Chorti Ethnography during the Great Depression, 1930–1940</i>

Charles Lincoln Vaughan

in The Ch′orti′ Maya Area

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033310
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039527 | DOI:
The Mystery of Charles Wisdom: Producing Chorti Ethnography during the Great Depression, 1930–1940

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This chapter focuses on Charles Wisdom's ethnography about the Ch'orti titled The Chorti Indians of Guatemala, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 1940. It explores the formation of Wisdom's germinal ethnography by analyzing his personal and professional efforts to navigate the formative yet turbulent waters of Depression-era Mayan anthropology and scholarship from the inception of his anthropological studies and fieldwork through to the final publication of his book. Since its publication, Wisdom's ethnography has been used primarily as a source of unproblematized ethnographic details about the Ch'orti' speakers he lived in amongst during the early 1930s.

Keywords: Charles Wisdom; Ch'orti' ethnography; Ch'orti'; Guatemala; Mayan anthropology

Chapter.  5839 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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