For close to 50 years, Americans committed to both economic growth and the daunting goal of “saving the planet” have placed their hopes in a highly stylized image of First Nations peoples. The “ecological Indian” has become the mascot of our eco-nation.
Amid poverty, war and, occasionally, massacre, the Presbyterians in the town of Polhó in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas are singing for their lives. The language of the Tzotzil Maya has a special lyrical quality. Sentences float like melodies in dialogue, rising and falling so that one speaker's tones spill over into the responses of the next.
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