Now available in English, Thunder Doesn't Live Here Anymore explores the highly unusual worldview of the Teenek people of Tantoyuca, whose self-deprecating cosmology diverges quite radically from patterns of positive cultural identity among other indigenous groups in Mexico. The Teenek speak of themselves as dirty, dumb, ignorant, and fearful, a vocabulary that serves to justify the Teenek's condition of social and spatial marginality in relation to their mestizo neighbours. However, as Anath Ariel de Vidas argues in this masterful ethnography, this self-denigration -- added to the absence among the Teenek of emblematic Indian features such as traditional costumes, agricultural rituals, specific ceremonies, or systems of religious cargoes or offices -- are not synonymous with collective anomie. Rather, as Ariel de Vidas demonstrates, their seeming ontological acceptance of a marginal social and economic condition is -- in its own peculiar way -- a language of indigenous resistance.
Anath Ariel de Vidas is a lecturer for the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Haifa in Israel. Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator and has published more than a dozen book-length translations.