You are on page 1of 2

BOOK R E V I E W S 207

Puritan government, Spanish military garrisons, buccaneers and privateers,

and a society of small-holder agriculturists and mariners who speak the
English language and worship in Protestant churches."


University of South Carolina,
Columbia, South Carolina

Yankees and Creoles: The trade between North America and the West
Indies before the American Revolution. By Richard Pares. (Cam-
bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956. Pp. vii, 168. $4.75.)
This is a study of the trade between North America and the West Indian
colonies from their first foundation to the American Revolution. Richard
Pares has done an excellent job of filling in many gaps in our knowledge
of this trade.
The book is divided into four parts. In the first section he studies those
conducting the trade and develops the thesis that the North American
merchant was better fitted to undertake the task and emerged as the leading
figure. He quotes many letters, instructions, and agreements to show the
relations between the merchants, the ship captains, and the West Indian
In the second and third sections he studies the outward cargoes and the
return cargoes and shows the gradual change in the nature of the trade.
The emergence of the rum industry in the North American colonies and the
emergence of triangular and multi-angular trade is well described.
In the last section he treats of the effect of the trade on the North
American economy. He is particularly effective in considering the profits
and loss of the trade and the formation of capital in the colonies.
This should be a valuable source of reference for the economic historian
as well as for those interested in the development of trade practices and
techniques. It is an outstanding piece of research on a little known facet
of our history.
University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida

Apuntes para una monografia de Rabinal (Baja Verapaz) y algo de nuestro

folklore. By Celso Narciso Teletor. (Guatemala: Editorial del Minis-
terio de Education Publica, 1955. Pp. 242. Index, colophon.)
The title of this work by Father Teletor may sound somewhat sophis-
ticated to the reader not in contact with Guatemalan literature. During
this century at least six books of this type have been published in Guatemala:
on Huehuetenango (Recinos, 1913); on San Martin Jilotepeque and Ama-
titlan (Diaz, 1924); on Quetzaltenango (Mejia, 1925); on Guatemala (Villa-
corta, 1926); on Zacapa (Archila Lemus, 1939), and on Jalapa (Garcia,
208 BOOK R E V I E W S

1940). They have been encyclopedic studies of the history, archaeology,

fauna, flora, art, ethnography, linguistics, etc., of the regions indicated.
The present title using the word Apuntes (Notes) means that in this case
the author did not intend to present a really scientific survey, but rather
to publish a popular work on the subject.
When he comes to religion (Catholic, of course), pp. 51-91, we find
that the author has something interesting to say. He points out several
expressions and the use of equivocal terms in the prayers of the Christian
Indians that can mislead the observer not acquainted with their language
and psychology. This explains some erroneous statements made about the
religious ideas of the indigenous population. W e regret that the author
did not make the effort to discuss this observation at greater length. By
doing so he could have rendered ethnography a great service.
The section dealing with dress, marimbas (xylophones), and furniture,
pp. 95-101, offers odd details on the method of dress, but we think for
precision's sake that the use of the term aborigines is somewhat ambiguous.
The Castilians, to avoid offense and to make the meaning precise, used to
call Indians already in contact with Spanish culture naturales rather than
In dealing with superstitions and false beliefs, pp. 115-137, the author
gives a list of about two hundred and fifty. It is necessary to keep in mind
that some of those mentioned were brought in by conquerors, travelers,
and literature, a fact which the author fails to mention.
About thirty pages, 155-185, deal with the dances. Eighteen of these
dances are mentioned as common among the indigenous population, and
eight by exclusion must be supposed proper to the ladinos (creoles). Even
though the author gives details of each dance, had he studied the move-
ments, words, and interpretation of each he could have made a wonderful
contribution to ethnography.
The list of toponymical names, pp. 199-210, with their meaning, is very
useful for geography. And, finally, there is a catalogue of phrases, sayings,
and idioms, pp. 211-242. Although the catalogue is without any alpha-
betical or ideological classification, and it may be taken for granted that
most of the items are not peculiar to Baja Verapaz, the region being studied,
and accordingly outside the strict purpose of the book, nevertheless no
reader will object to its inclusion, and most will probably be gratified by it.


Academy of American Franciscan History,
Washington, D. C.