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The photos in this book were taken in the village of Santo Tomás Jalieza (latitude 16º51' north and longitude 96º40' west) that is located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, and about 17 miles (28 Km) south of Oaxaca City in the Zimatlán Valley, at an elevation of 5000 feet (1500 meters).
With my family living with me part time, I spent the first half of 1973 taking photos and learning about village life for my MA thesis in anthropology: “Santo Tomás Jalieza: A Community of Cooperation.” If you would like more information about the village as I saw it in 1973, a copy of the thesis is in the library of the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico, the University of Florida-Gainsville, and the Reitberg Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.
The photos were selected from the many photos that I took for the thesis project. The color photos were taken using Kodachrome 64 transparency film, and the black-and-white photos were taken using Kodak Tri-X negative film. The camera was a 35mm Leicaflex SL with 35mm, 50mm, and 90mm lenses. The color film was processed by Kodak de Mexico, and I processed the black-and-white film using a developing formula of Edwal FG7 and sodium sulfite.
Lawrence G. Desmond received a PhD in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Colorado, Boulder; an MA in anthropology from the Universidad de las Americas in Cholula, Mexico, and carried-out archaeological research in Mexico and Guatemala for more than 40 years. He taught at the University of Minnesota and San Francisco State University. His books, "A Dream of Maya" and "Yucatán through her eyes," are about the photography and studies of the ancient Maya by Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon who worked in Yucatán in the 1870s. His photographs of Mexico and Guatemala are at Harvard University's Peabody Museum, photographs of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project (MMARP) are at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and his earliest photos are at the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley. He is a senior research fellow in archaeology with the MMARP at Harvard University, and a research associate with the Dept. of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences.