Where the Ox Does Not Plow: A Mexican American Ballad

Peña, Manuel. Where the Ox Does Not Plow: A Mexican American Ballad. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. 233 pages. $19.95 hardcover.

Ginny Hosler
Indiana University

Where the Ox Does Not Plow by Manuel Peña is a narrative ethnography written in first person. It consists of first-hand accounts of basic human experiences, such as childhood tales, written portraits of family members, and love stories, as they relate to the Mexican born Manuel Peña. Continue reading “Where the Ox Does Not Plow: A Mexican American Ballad”

Advertisements

Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali

Rovine, Victoria L. Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2008. $24.95 paper.

Jessica Berndt
Indiana University

The second edition of Victoria Rovine’s book, Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali, presents a well-structured look at Bogolan traditional cloth in Mali. She focuses her writing on Bamako, the capital of the West African country. Throughout the book she explores themes of identity, authenticity, and tradition, as they are connected with the popular cloth, called bogolan. Bogolan is a traditional Malian cloth, which typically requires a labor-intensive process to create. Rovine details the production process, from the weaving of the cloth to the multiple dyeing processes. The author provides a  concise overview of the cloth, as well as a solid background for her arguments about the cloth’s changing role in Mali and abroad. Continue reading “Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali”