Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mexico: "The Circles of the Gods"

Most English-reading audiences will probably be familiar with the name Diego Rivera – the larger-than-life muralist whose artistic vision recast historical perceptions of Mexico and colonial history – and his wife Freda Kahlo, whose works came in into their own in the 1990s. Rivera's murals are one of the great tourist attractions of Mexico City, visible to all in the Presidential Palace and other major sites.

But on this occasion it is the great man's daughter – Prof. Guadalupe Rivera, author and academic – who draws our attention with her book Los circulos de los dioses (The Circles of the Gods): a work of fiction which explains the presence of “gods” in ancient Mexico through extraterrestrial visitations.

In 1970, Prof. Rivera had a sighting of the bouncing red lights known as “brujas” (witches) in the Sierra Gorda region of the state of Queretaro, a hotbed of paranormal activity. Known in the Otomí dialect as “tzintzinimes” (red witches, to be precise) the incident's impact remained with her for years, spurring her to write the novel. “It is a work of historical fiction that draws on real situations from Mexican life with the alleged presence of aliens in our territory,” explains the author. “The novel takes place in Sierra Gorda and the main characters are local landowners and miners, who have close ties with natives of the Parne tribe, who own mercury mines in the region.” As the plot unfolds, the miners come across a spaceship buried in an enormous cave.”