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The Story of Colors / La Historia de los…

The Story of Colors / La Historia de los Colores: A Bilingual Folktale… (edition 1999)

by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos (Author), Domitilia Domínguez (Illustrator), Anne Bar Din (Translator)

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Title:The Story of Colors / La Historia de los Colores: A Bilingual Folktale from the Jungles of Chiapas (English and Spanish Edition)
Authors:Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos (Author)
Other authors:Domitilia Domínguez (Illustrator), Anne Bar Din (Translator)
Info:Cinco Puntos Press (1999), Edition: Bilingual, 40 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Story of Colors/La Historia de los Colores: A Bilingual Folktale from the Jungles of Chiapas by Subcomandante Marcos



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English (3)  French (1)  All languages (4)
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Subcomandante Marcos, the public face of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas State, Mexico, relates a traditional Mayan folktale in this bilingual picture-book, originally published in Mexico in 1996, and translated into English in 1999. The story of how colors came into the world, it follows the gods - but not, as the narrator informs us, the original gods who created the world - as they become bored with the ubiquitous black, white and gray all about them, and set out in their various ways to create brighter hues. Discovering red through one of the god's spilled blood, and blue through another god's ascent to the heavens, they slowly gather a collection of beautiful colors, which they then disperse throughout the world. As a reminder of the diversity of colors to be found in creation - and more obliquely, of the diversity of ways of seeing and thinking - the gods then paint the macaw every shade under the sun, making it into an emblem of their great work painting the world.

I understand that there was some controversy surrounding the publication of The Story of Colors/La Historia de los Colores - apparently the National Endowment for the Arts withdrew their initial support for a bilingual edition, in light of its author's controversial status as an insurgent - so I am particularly glad that it was eventually made available to English readers! A lovely pourquois story explaining the origin of color, as well as a teaching tale emphasizing the beauty of diversity, it boasts some beautiful (and very colorful) artwork as well. I particularly liked the contrast between the scenes occurring in the black and white world, which naturally enough were accompanied by stark black and white artwork, and those occurring after color entered the world. Parents might want to screen this beforehand, as there are repeated references to love-making - nothing graphic, it's just mentioned naturally in the narrative - but with that caveat aside, I would recommend this one to folklore enthusiasts young and old. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 18, 2013 |
This Mayan folk tale describes how colors were born. Initially, there was only black and white, but one by one the Gods created new colors. Each color stands for something (yellow is a child's laugh) and eventually they paint the whole world. They painted people different colors which is why everyone has different skin tones.

The images are crude oil pastels, and are hard to tell exactly what the images are depicting, but the colors are conveyed which is the main focus.

The story is told in both Spanish and English, good for bilingual students. Also, good for speakers trying to learn colors of the opposite language (Spanish or English). ( )
  claireforhan | Mar 23, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Subcomandante Marcosprimary authorall editionscalculated
Din, Anne BarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domínguez, DomitilaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0938317458, Hardcover)

This wonderful folktale reveals some of the down-to-earth wisdom of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. At the same time, it provides us with a fresh perspective on the struggles of the people there. They fight to conserve their culture and a vision of the world which they see as flowering with holiness—a holiness that cannot be measured in dollars or defined by politics.

The text for La Historia de los Colores is taken from the communiqué dated October 27, 1994 from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos to the Mexican People. Originally published in Mexico with illustrations by Domitila Domínguez as La Historia de los Colores © 1996 by Colectivo Callejero, Guadalajara.

Who is Marcos?

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is the military strategist and spokesperson for the Zapatistas, an indigenous guerrilla movement in Mexico. It is his person, more than any other factor, that has pushed the Zapatista movement and the plight of the indigenous people in Mexico onto the international scene. Marcos continues to be the focus of media attention—in Mexico, in the States, and internationally, despite the Mexican government’s attempts to discredit him.

On New Year’s Day, 1994, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos and the Zapatistas, wearing their trademark ski masks, erupted on the world scene by declaring war on the Mexican government and attacking military installations in San Cristóbal, Chiapas. Since that time, Marcos—because of his charm, intelligence and mystique—has become a post-modern revolutionary hero. In his communiqués to the Mexican people, he has often related folktales and stories that reflect the culture and wisdom of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas.

But no one seems to know who Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is. The Mexican Government claims he is Rafael Guillen, but they’re literalists. He says he’s a Mexican like any other, born somewhere between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and between the northern and southern borders. He says he wears a ski mask because he is no longer whoever he was.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

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"A folktale from the jungles of Chiapas"--Jacket.

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