Mexican Indian Costumes is a many-faceted delight. The text, lucidly written by Donald and Dorothy Cordry, contains information of value to the archaeologist, historian, cultural anthropologist, and student of weaving. Interspersed in the text are numerous superb black and white and color photographs taken by Donald Cordry, as well as a number of useful figures and maps. The book is handsomely printed, and it can be enjoyed as much for its aesthetic merits as for the data it contains.

The first part of the book (pp. 5-190) is a general treatment of Indian dress in Mexico. Attempts are made to put contemporary costumes in temporal perspective by means of references to pre-Conquest styles (as known from sources such as the codices and figurines) and to information provided by early Spanish writers. The authors furnish us with data on weaving implements and techniques dyes, various aspects of male and female attire, hairdresses and head-coverings, belts, tortilla cloths, bags, jewelry, and designs. Some not-very-well-developed interpretations are offered, moreover, as to the possible symbolic import of some of these. Thus, for example, it is suggested that weaving implements and products of the loom are symbolically associated with human hair, rain, and fertility.

The second part of the book (pp. 193-348) is devoted to descriptions of the costumes found in various Indian communities throughout Mexico. Some of these settlements are difficult of access and virtually unknown to the outside world, and while the text is ethnographically meager, we are nonetheless grateful for whatever information it contains. Moreover, the intriguing photographs which accompany the text may well serve as stimuli in attracting anthropologists to these places.