In the Sierra Madre (Paperback)
A history of legendary Copper Canyon treasure seekers and enigmatic natives. This book offers a look into the ways of the resilient indigenous culture in the Americas, the exploits of Mexican mountaineers, and the parade of argonauts and accidental travelers who have journeyed into the Sierra Madre over centuries.
About the Author
The Sierra Madre--no other mountain range in the world possesses such a ring of intrigue. "In the Sierra Madre" is a groundbreaking and extraordinary memoir that chronicles the astonishing history of one of the most famous, yet unknown, regions in the world. Based on his one-year sojourn among the Raramuri/Tarahumara, award-winning journalist Jeff Biggers offers a rare look into the ways of the most resilient indigenous culture in the Americas, the exploits of Mexican mountaineers, and the fascinating parade of argonauts and accidental travelers that has journeyed into the Sierra Madre over centuries. From African explorers, Bohemian friars, Confederate and Irish war deserters, French poets, Boer and Russian commandos, Apache and Mennonite communities, bewildered archaeologists, addled writers, and legendary characters including Antonin Artaud, B. Traven, Sergei Eisenstein, George Patton, Geronimo, and Pancho Villa, Biggers uncovers the remarkable treasures of the Sierra Madre.
The Sierra Madre is familiar to readers because of B. Traven's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and John Huston's film version of the novel, which starred Humphrey Bogart. Now comes Biggers' engaging memoir of this mountainous range in northern Mexico. Based on the author's year-long journey among the 80,000 Raramuri/Tarahumara, the book chronicles this indigenous culture. Biggers informs us that they are the last remnants of a pre-Columbian Mexico, spread out over miles of barrancas and forests. He describes the people and the villages; one was no more than a 250-year old mission, a boarding school, a clinic, a cooperative shop "plopped into the basin of a creek-forged valley of steep rock faces." Biggers visits their corn beer celebrations, Sunday gatherings at the mission plaza to attend mass and the judicial assembly that follows, caves in which some Raramuri still live, and their wood-chopping expeditions. He takes readers on an astonishing sojourn into a remote region. -Booklist, October 1, 2006
"Biggers writes a decidedly adventurous narrative, but he is no adventurer. He is the quintessential observer, with the eye and voice of a poet."
-- MySA.com, October 2006