The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948

Southwestern-Historical Quarterly

surrounds Pueblo religion. Consequently he is able to describe
and interpret only what he could observe, such as the public
ceremonies which outsiders are permitted to witness. Although
it is well known that religion is the principal integrating factor
in Pueblo society, the details of its functioning in San Ildefonso
will probably never be adequately known. This is unfortunate
from the point of view of a social scientist, for it would be of
great interest to know how the recent economic changes are af-
fecting San Ildefonso religion.
It would be unfair to Whitman to compare his unfinished
study of San Ildefonso with other monographic studies of Pueblo
Indian communities. Even in its incomplete state it is a definite
contribution to our knowledge of Indian life in the American
The University of Texas
Maya Explorer: John Lloyd Stephens and the Lost Cities of Cen-
tral America and Yucatan. By Victor Wolfgang von Hagen.
Norman (University of Oklahoma Press), 1947. $5.00.
This is a biography of John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852), the
man who introduced Maya civilization to the western world.
Before his time several descriptions of Maya ruins had been pub-
lished, but these accounts were not well known. For the most
part they were viewed as exaggerations, because the prevailing
belief of the time was that all American Indians were either
savages or barbarians, incapable of creative architecture. Stephens'
interest in the Maya cities developed after he had already made
an international reputation as the author of engagingly written
travel books on Egypt, Arabia, and eastern Europe. He also had
the good fortune to be associated with Frederick Catherwood, an
English architect and artist who made superb drawings of the
Maya temples and monuments. Stephens' attractive style of writ-
ing combined with Catherwood's illustrations produced a literary
sensation on both sides of the Atlantic. Their two books, Inci-
dents of Travel in Central America (1841) and Incidents of
Travel in Yucatan (1843), were widely read and had a strong
influence on nineteenth-century thought. Stephens was one of the
first to insist on the indigenous nature of Maya civilization, and


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 8, 2015.