100 books like Moon, Sun, and Witches

By Irene Marsha Silverblatt,

Here are 100 books that Moon, Sun, and Witches fans have personally recommended if you like Moon, Sun, and Witches. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Indian Women of Early Mexico

Susan Kellogg Author Of Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America's Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present

From my list on the history of Native women in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a sheltered environment on Long Island, NY, I had little sense of a larger world, except for seeing images of the Vietnam War. Going to college in the early 70s and becoming an anthropology major, the world began to open up, yet I hadn't experienced life outside the U.S. until my mid-20s as a graduate student living in Mexico to do dissertation research. That experience and travels to Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, and Costa Rica helped me to see how diverse Latin America is, and how real poverty and suffering are as well. Coming into my own as a historian, teacher, and writer, my fascination with women’s voices, experiences, and activism only grew.

Susan's book list on the history of Native women in Latin America

Susan Kellogg Why did Susan love this book?

Like Silverblatt’s book on native women in prehispanic and colonial Peru, this edited volume on early Mexico was and remains a gamer changer in bringing to light women’s work, including ways women accumulated and distributed wealth, their varieties of social and political identities they held, and their power and influence.

With chapters by experts in Aztec/Nahua women’s, social, and cultural history, the chapters represent a variety of approaches and methodologies to women’s and gender history even in areas where the documentation on women is sparser than in central Mesoamerica, especially for northern Mexico and Maya women further south.

By Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood, Robert Haskett

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Indian Women of Early Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


This volume counters the stereotype that Indian women are without history. Neither silent nor invisible, women of early Mexico were active participants in society and critically influenced the direction history would take. This collection of essays by leading scholars in Mexican ethnohistory, edited by Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett, examines the life experiences of Indian women in preconquest and colonial Mexico.


Book cover of The Woman Who Turned Into a Jaguar, and Other Narratives of Native Women in Archives of Colonial Mexico

Susan Kellogg Author Of Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America's Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present

From my list on the history of Native women in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a sheltered environment on Long Island, NY, I had little sense of a larger world, except for seeing images of the Vietnam War. Going to college in the early 70s and becoming an anthropology major, the world began to open up, yet I hadn't experienced life outside the U.S. until my mid-20s as a graduate student living in Mexico to do dissertation research. That experience and travels to Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, and Costa Rica helped me to see how diverse Latin America is, and how real poverty and suffering are as well. Coming into my own as a historian, teacher, and writer, my fascination with women’s voices, experiences, and activism only grew.

Susan's book list on the history of Native women in Latin America

Susan Kellogg Why did Susan love this book?

This superb book is a culturally and indigenous-language-focused study of women in four central Mesoamerican native societies—Aztecs (Nahuas), Mixtec, Zapotec, and Mixe.

In addition to a deep dive into texts dealing with all facets of women’s lives, Sousa uses visual evidence to great effect, showing how images contain much information about women’s and gender history, a history in which women struggled over centuries to maintain agency and authority despite efforts by a newly imposed colonial state to erode their power and status and exploit their labor.

By Lisa Sousa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Woman Who Turned Into a Jaguar, and Other Narratives of Native Women in Archives of Colonial Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is an ambitious and wide-ranging social and cultural history of gender relations among indigenous peoples of New Spain, from the Spanish conquest through the first half of the eighteenth century. In this expansive account, Lisa Sousa focuses on four native groups in highland Mexico-the Nahua, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Mixe-and traces cross-cultural similarities and differences in the roles and status attributed to women in prehispanic and colonial Mesoamerica.

Sousa intricately renders the full complexity of women's life experiences in the household and community, from the significance of their names, age, and social standing, to their identities, ethnicities, family, dress,…


Book cover of Cacicas: The Indigenous Women Leaders of Spanish America, 1492-1825

Susan Kellogg Author Of Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America's Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present

From my list on the history of Native women in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a sheltered environment on Long Island, NY, I had little sense of a larger world, except for seeing images of the Vietnam War. Going to college in the early 70s and becoming an anthropology major, the world began to open up, yet I hadn't experienced life outside the U.S. until my mid-20s as a graduate student living in Mexico to do dissertation research. That experience and travels to Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, and Costa Rica helped me to see how diverse Latin America is, and how real poverty and suffering are as well. Coming into my own as a historian, teacher, and writer, my fascination with women’s voices, experiences, and activism only grew.

Susan's book list on the history of Native women in Latin America

Susan Kellogg Why did Susan love this book?

Cacicas were women who held high status, positions of political authority, and/or communally-significant economic or other responsibilities in colonial Spanish American native societies.

This book offers compelling portraits of how colonial women strategized to maneuver around patriarchal limitations of Spanish law, especially because they could not hold formal offices in the colonial governing hierarchy (though sometimes they actually did).

The individually-authored essays in this collection provide insightful portraits of individual women in a variety of circumstances across a wide range of geographic locations and types of communities across the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, and Central and South American societies.

The reader will feel she or he learns something about these women as people defending themselves, their families, and peoples.

By Margarita R. Ochoa (editor), Sara V. Guengerich (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cacicas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The term cacica was a Spanish linguistic invention, a female counterpart to caciques, the Arawak word for male indigenous leaders in Spanish America. But the term's meaning was adapted and manipulated by natives, creating a new social stratum where it previously may not have existed. This book explores that transformation, a conscious construction and reshaping of identity from within.

Cacicas feature far and wide in the history of Spanish America, as female governors and tribute collectors and as relatives of ruling caciques - or their destitute widows. They played a crucial role in the establishment and success of Spanish rule,…


Book cover of Zapotec Women: Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Globalized Oaxaca

Susan Kellogg Author Of Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America's Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present

From my list on the history of Native women in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a sheltered environment on Long Island, NY, I had little sense of a larger world, except for seeing images of the Vietnam War. Going to college in the early 70s and becoming an anthropology major, the world began to open up, yet I hadn't experienced life outside the U.S. until my mid-20s as a graduate student living in Mexico to do dissertation research. That experience and travels to Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, and Costa Rica helped me to see how diverse Latin America is, and how real poverty and suffering are as well. Coming into my own as a historian, teacher, and writer, my fascination with women’s voices, experiences, and activism only grew.

Susan's book list on the history of Native women in Latin America

Susan Kellogg Why did Susan love this book?

This rich ethnography explores women’s lives between the 1980s and early 2000s in the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle in southern Mexico.

Oaxacan-produced textiles are enormously popular transnationally, and this demand has reshaped production, the gendered division of labor, and economic and social relations in many native communities, a theme explored in depth by Stephen.

She begins to draw attention to a theme that becomes more prominent in her later work and that is the impact of migration and the creation and growth of what she calls “transborder” communities.

A picture of how women respond to economic change while rooted in the practices of a deeply rooted indigenous culture, this book represents a model of narrative and methodological approaches that connect women’s history to wider patterns of globalization.

By Lynn Stephen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zapotec Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this extensively revised and updated second edition of her classic ethnography, Lynn Stephen explores the intersection of gender, class, and indigenous ethnicity in southern Mexico. She provides a detailed study of how the lives of women weavers and merchants in the Zapotec-speaking town of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, have changed in response to the international demand for Oaxacan textiles. Based on Stephen's research in Teotitlan during the mid-1980s, in 1990, and between 2001 and 2004, this volume provides a unique view of a Zapotec community balancing a rapidly advancing future in export production with an entrenched past anchored in…


Book cover of Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru

Lawrence Winkler Author Of Orion's Cartwheel

From my list on becoming the hero of your own myth.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is no quality of life without meaning, and there is no better meaning than the search for it. The Vision Quest has been a beacon of hope for me my entire life. It permeates all my aspirations and writing. It inspired me to hitchhike worldwide for five years and continued into my professional life. I hope you enjoy the selections.

Lawrence's book list on becoming the hero of your own myth

Lawrence Winkler Why did Lawrence love this book?

Tahir Shah’s writing is inspired, funny, multifaceted, and offbeat. This book is his account of hiring a crazy Vietnam vet named Richard Fowler to escort him into the remote Amazon to look for the birdmen of Peru.

I hired the same guy to take me and a good friend into the same jungle several years later, with similar results I recorded in Stout Men. Both are vision quests through slow water in strange company and a passion for the bizarre and grotesque.

By Tahir Shah,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trail of Feathers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enthralled by the chronicle of a 16th-century Spanish monk, which said that the Incas 'flew like birds' over the jungle, and by the recurring theme of flying in Peruvian folklore, Tahir Shah set out to discover whether the Incas really did fly or glide above the jungles of Peru. Or was it flight of a different kind, inspired by powerful drugs? After gathering equipment in London the long quest begins, in the mountains of Peru, with a trek to Machu Picchu, the Incas' most sacred city. Then on to the mountain city of Cusco and a mysterious island on Lake…


Book cover of Antisuyo: The Search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From my list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did Vincent love this book?

Following up on Hiram Bingham's 1911 visit to an overgrown ruin in the forest at a place called Espíritu Pampa (The Plain of Ghosts) and dismissed by Bingham as unimportant, Savoy set out in 1964-5 to prove him wrong. Bingham had identified Machu Picchu as the lost Inca capital, Vilcabamba, but Savoy was sure there was more to be found at the Plain of Ghosts than Bingham knew. He was right, and in several adventurous expeditions found a large Inca city there that he thought better met the Spanish accounts of Vilcabamba.

By Gene Savoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Antisuyo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This inspiring and historic book: Antisuyo by Gene Savoy, is about the search for the lost cities of the Amazon. Antisuyo is the full account of the authors' daring expedition beyond one of the few remaining uncharted frontiers, and of his glorious discovery of the fabled cities of Viacabamba and Muyok Viejo--two of the most important archaeololgical sites found in recent years. He takes the reader through the forbidding mysteries of the wild territory in search for of clues to puzzles that have remained unsolved since the days of Pizarro: Aztahualpa: the legendary Manco Capac; the famed El Dorado, City…


Book cover of At the Mountains' Altar: Anthropology of Religion in an Andean Community

Catherine J. Allen Author Of The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an Andean Community

From my list on Andean life, landscape, and personhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

My connection with the Andean highlands of southern Peru stretches back to 1975 when I spent about a year in a small community of Quechua-speaking potato farmers and llama herders. I have returned there many times over the years, most recently in 2019. Its people, their way of life, and vision of the world are dear to my heart and are the subject of The Hold Life Has as well as a play, creative nonfiction, and, more recently, poetry. I love the way anthropology forces me to think outside the box and experience the world with different eyes, something I aim to convey in my work.

Catherine's book list on Andean life, landscape, and personhood

Catherine J. Allen Why did Catherine love this book?

This is a wonderful, sophisticated yet accessible book that provides readers with a vivid community study that is also a wide-ranging introduction to the anthropology of religion. The title refers to a small adobe house in the community of Rapaz that serves as a temple for religious practices directed to sacred mountains. Each chapter explores aspects of the temple and related ritual practices from a different theoretical vantage point, in order to “put before students’ eyes one case, an Andean temple, and treat it as an example for pondering the possibly pan-human matter of sacred ritual” (p.9). It’s beautifully written, personal and thought-provoking.

By Frank Salomon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At the Mountains' Altar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In high-Andean Peru, Rapaz village maintains a temple to mountain beings who command water and weather. By examining the ritual practices and belief systems of an Andean community, this book provides students with rich understandings of unfamiliar religious experiences and delivers theories of religion from the realm of abstraction. From core field encounters, each chapter guides readers outward in a different theoretical direction, successively exploring the main paths in the anthropology of religion.

As well as addressing classical approaches in the anthropology of religion to rural modernity, Salomon engages with newer currents such as cognitive-evolution models, power-oriented critiques, the ontological…


Book cover of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

Dawn Baumann Brunke Author Of Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake: Transformation, Healing, and Enlightenment

From my list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an animal communicator and author of many books about our deeper connections with the animal world. A powerful dream featuring an archetypal Snake ignited my curiosity about snakes and inspired me to learn more. I immersed myself into the history, biology, and incredible diversity of snakes as well as their role in art, myth, medicine, and dreams. I also lived with two rescue snakes: a shy ball python named Carl and lively corn snake named Chloe. What I found was not only fascinating but life-changing. This book celebrates the mystery of Snake and the undeniable wisdom and healing that it offers our world.  

Dawn's book list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did Dawn love this book?

Tracing Snake back to ancient times in its role as creator god, anthropologist Jeremy Narby follows both a scientific and shamanic approach to understanding our connection with Snake in its role as healer and mentor.

Why do life-creating, knowledge-imparting snakes appear in the visions, myths, and dreams of countless humans, Narby asks. Could this mythical serpent that created life be another way of perceiving the DNA molecule, which holds the organizing principle inherent in all life?

Highly recommended for a fascinating journey into the nature of reality and ourselves!  

By Jeremy Narby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cosmic Serpent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences," leads the reader through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge.In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, The Cosmic Serpent reveals how startlingly different the world around us appears when we open our minds to it.


Book cover of The Fabric of Resistance: Textile Workshops and the Rise of Rebellious Landscapes in Colonial Peru

Leo J. Garofalo Author Of Afro-Latino Voices: Translations of Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic Narratives

From my list on Afro-Latin American and Afro-Andean history.

Why am I passionate about this?

History tells us who we are and what we can become. History in the Andes tells us that people of the African Diaspora have been a part of building that part of the world into what it is today for over 500 years. I have been fascinated by learning this history and inspired by leaders, writers, artists, and fellow historians who consider themselves Afro-Andean and are building the future. For 25 years now, I have been scouring historical archives in Peru, Spain, and the US to find more sources to help us recognize and understand that history as we use it to build a better, more just present and future. 

Leo's book list on Afro-Latin American and Afro-Andean history

Leo J. Garofalo Why did Leo love this book?

For thousands of years, right down to the present, textiles and weaving in the Andes has been some of the most exquisite and sophisticated in the world. It has been linked to the amazing cultural creativity of people in the Andes and the rise and fall of successive empires because controlling textile production is controlling power and wealth.

This book shows us something entirely new: how the weavers who made these amazing textiles experienced and often resisted that power and the exploitation of their labor. Even though this book is not explicitly about Afro-Andean people, they were an integral part of the Andean labor force, and they figure in histories of resistance and rebellion in the Andes.

By Di Hu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fabric of Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Fabric of Resistance: Textile Workshops and the Rise of Rebellious Landscapes in Colonial Peru documents the impact of Spanish colonial institutions of labor on identity and social cohesion in Peru. Through archaeological and historical lines of evidence, Di Hu examines the long-term social conditions that enabled the large-scale rebellions in the late Spanish colonial period in Peru. Hu argues that ordinary people from different backgrounds pushed back against the top-down identity categories imposed by the Spanish colonial government and in the process created a cosmopolitan social landscape that later facilitated broader rebellion.

Hu's case study is Pomacocha, the site…


Book cover of Zonia's Rain Forest

Laura Resau Author Of Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest

From my list on children’s pictures set in South America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I feel passionate about spreading the word about all the fantastic children’s literature set in South America. As an author and a multilingual mom whose son enjoys learning about his Latin American heritage, I’ve always brought home stacks of picture books—in Spanish and English—that celebrate Latin American cultures and settings. I’ve loved traveling to the Andes mountains and the Amazon rain forest as part of my children’s book collaborations with Indigenous women in those regions. Most of all, I love transporting young readers to these inspiring places through story.

Laura's book list on children’s pictures set in South America

Laura Resau Why did Laura love this book?

Several years ago, I took a beautiful and eye-opening trip to an Indigenous-run ecolodge in the Amazon Rain Forest.

Tragically, the following year, the community was displaced after an oil company invaded and destroyed their forest. So, I connected strongly to this book, which tells the story of Zonia, an Indigenous Asháninka girl living in the Peruvian Amazon, who forms playful and sacred bonds with her plant and animal friends.

But when she comes across felled trees, she must respond to the forest’s call for help. The illustrations are sweet and warm, inviting readers to take part in Zonia’s experiences. And when we witness the stark devastation, we feel her despair and her call to action.

I loved this book that encourages us all to support Indigenous and environmental rights.

By Juana Martinez-Neal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zonia's Rain Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A heartfelt, visually stunning picture book from Caldecott Honor and Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Juana Martinez-Neal illuminates a young girl’s day of play and adventure in the lush rain forest of Peru.

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?
Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the…


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Interested in the Inca Empire, Peru, and Latin America?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Inca Empire, Peru, and Latin America.

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