Healing Waters: Ts'aakal Ja'oob Aguas Milagrosas


80 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps
ISBN 0-9698752-4-X
DDC 972.8'004974






Reviewed by Pauline Carey

Pauline Carey is the author of Magic and What’s in a Name?


In 1984, Anna Woods started a series of paintings that arose from her
discovery of the Mayan heritage in the Yucatбn peninsula of Mexico and
in Guatemala. The Mayan Series has been exhibited in Mexico and Canada.
Healing Waters reproduces 20 of these paintings, together with the
stories that inspired them.

The paintings exhibit the vivid colors and surreal touches so familiar
in Mexican art. The stories, which are told in English, Yucatec Maya,
and Spanish, usually begin with some casual incident. For example, a
shopping bag bursts from the arms of a pregnant Mayan woman, and fruit
rolls to the ground among the children who cling to her skirt. Expecting
anger, the author instead witnesses laughter as the mother and children
play with the fruit. When Woods came to paint the scene, the mother
appeared on the canvas with three bald heads.

There is a richness and spiritual complexity to Woods’s exploration
of Mayan culture. In retelling the stories of the Mayan people, she
appears to have absorbed the Mayan spirit into her art—and into her


Woods, Anna., “Healing Waters: Ts'aakal Ja'oob Aguas Milagrosas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1906.