The Rabbit on the Face of the Moon: Mythology in the Mesoamerican Tradition

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University of Utah Press, 1996 - Social Science - 157 pages

Eighteen essays provide an accessible, entertaining look into a system of millennia-old legends and beliefs.

Mythology is one of the great creations of humankind. It forms the core of sacred books and reflects the deepest preoccupations of human beings, their most intimate secrets, their glories, and their infamies.

In 1990, Alfredo López Austin, one of the foremost scholars of ancient Mesoamerican thought, began a series of essays about mythology in the Mesoamerican tradition, published in México Indígena. Although his articles were written for general readers, they were also intended to engage specialists. They span a divers subject matter: myths and names, eclipses, stars, left and right, Méxican origins, Aztec incantations, animals, and the incorporation of Christian elements into the living mythologies of Mexico. The title essay relates the Mesoamerican myth explaining why there is a rabbit o the moon's face to a Buddhist image and suggests the importance of the profound mythical concepts presented by each image.

The eighteen essays in this volume are unified by their basis in Mesoamerican tradition and provide an accessible, entertaining look into a system of millennia-old legends and beliefs.

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Most people are familiar with the Japanese folklore of Tsuki no Usagi (especially fans of the show Sailor Moon, in which the protagonist's name is "Tsukino Usagi"). This mythic creature is also called ... Read full review


The Rabbit on the Face of the Moon
a rabbit
Mixtec representation of the moon

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About the author (1996)

Alfredo López Austin is research associate at the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas and professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

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