Tambo: Life in an Andean Village
Perhaps the best way to sharpen one's power's of observation is to be a stranger in a strange land. Julia Meyerson was one such stranger during a year in the village of 'Tambo, Peru, where her husband was conducting anthropological fieldwork. Though sometimes overwhelmed by the differences between Quechua and North American culture, she still sought eagerly to understand the lifeways of 'Tambo and to find her place in the village. Her vivid observations, recorded in this field journal, admirably follow Henry James's advice: "Try to be one of the people upon whom nothing is lost."
With an artist's eye, Meyerson records the daily life of 'Tambo—the cycles of planting and harvest, the round of religious and cultural festivals, her tentative beginnings of friendship and understanding with the Tambinos. The journal charts her progress from tolerated outsider to accepted friend as she and her husband learn and earn, the roles of daughter and son in their adopted family.
With its wealth of ethnographic detail, especially concerning the lives of Andean women, 'Tambo will have great value for students of Latin American anthropology. In addition, scholars preparing to do fieldwork anywhere will find it a realistic account of both the hardships and the rewards of such study.