Cuatro Siglos de Expresiones Geograficas del Ostmo Centroamericano

Four Centuries of Geographic Expressions of the Central American Isthmus

1500-1900. Jens P. Bornholt, 2007, Universidad Francisco Marroqui, Guatemala, ISBN 99922-799-5-8, hard cover, 205 pp, maps, foldouts, biographies, glossary, bibliography, $80 US, not yet available on Amazon.

cuatro1This is the comprehensive catalog for a map exhibition held at the University in Guatemala City in conjunction with the IMCoS meeting, February 4-7, 2007.

Jens Bornholt and his wife Erika were the principal organizers of the IMCos meeting in Guatemala, (see next page). Jens is a scholar of Central American maps, a Trustee of the University and a member of its Board of Directors. He helped pull this exhibit of maps from many sources with examples from many genres. To the right is an example, reproduced from the National Maritime Museum. It is William Hack’s Guatimala from A Waggoner of the South Sea Describing the Coast from Acapulco to Albermarle Sound, of 1685. This is one of the derroteros Roy Ritchie discussed at our meeting, quickly identified by the active volcano.

The book illustrates in color 87 maps of the region and must become the reference source for the genre. Included is a fold out page of the manuscript Loenzo de Quauhquechollan, the first known map of Guatemala. The Pueblan native who accompanied Jorge de Alvarado to the area in 1527-1529 drew scenes of the conquest of the region by Alvarado and his Pueblan allies. Roughly 8 by 12 feet in size, the map is brutally graphic.

cuatro2The cover is taken from a cartouche on Henry Popple’s 1741(?) map printed by Covens & Mortier in Amsterdam. The serene Indian maiden contrasts nicely with the Spaniard’s head with an arrow protruding. The whole map is illustrated in the book in color as are all other maps.

At press time we do not have information on ordering this book. We hope the next Newsletter will include that information. The editor will bring a copy to the June 23rd meeting for interested parties to examine.

Reviewed by Bill Warren 
From the Society’s March 2007 Newsletter