Edgar de Evia


Edgar de Evia : biography

July 30, 1910 – February 10, 2003

Birth and family

De Evia was born in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. His mother was Pauline Joutard (1890–1957), a French-born pianist who performed under the stage name Miirrha Alhambra.For information about her recitals in America, both on stage and radio, see the following: The New York Times, 17 June 1928 (p. 133), 13 February 1931 (p. 21), 13 November 1932 (p. X7), and 15 November 1932 (p. 19). His father was Domingo Fernando Evia y Barbachano (1883–1977), a wealthy landowner who was a member of two families that have been prominent in the politics and culture of Yucatán since the mid 19th century, one of which, the Barbachanos, has been described as "one of the most powerful of Yucatán’s oligarchy." The quote is taken from "Tourism ‘Wars’ in the Yucatan", which is posted on the website of the American Anthropological Association. The article was written by Quetzil E. Castaneda, an affiliate assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and the founding director and professor of The Open School of Anthropology and Ethnography.

His great-grandfather Don Miguel Barbachano y Tarrazo (1806–1859) was a five-time governor of Yucatán and the patriarch of a clan that was instrumental in developing the Mexican resorts of Cozumel and Playas de Rosarito in Baja California Norte and in popularizing the ruins of Chichen Itza as a tourist attraction., According to Oden and Olivia Meeker, "Awesome Mayaland", The New York Times, 28 November 1948, p. X15, Don Fernando Barbachano Peon – a grandson of Miguel Barbachano y Tarrazo and therefore a first cousin of de Evia’s father – was the first Yucatecan entrepreneur to establish a hotel next to Chichen Itza, which stands on land co-owned by the family, and develop tours of it and other Mayan ruins for foreign tourists. The family’s tourism development and co-ownership of the land under Chichen Itza and other Mayan ruins is examined by Quetzil E. Casteneda on the website of the . The Barbachano’s involvement in the development of Rosarito is traced in Jenna Cavelle’s 2005 article for the San Diego Union, "The Colorful City of Rosarito Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Rosarito Beach Hotel", which is posted at Among his cousins was Manuel Barbachano Ponce, the Mexican film producer and director.

On 30 June 1912, at the age of two, Evia arrived with his family in New York City aboard the liner "Progreso".According to the ship’s manifest, which can be accessed at , several members of the Evia family immigrated from Mexico to New York at the same time, including Evia’s paternal aunt Rosario Evia de Espejo and her husband and children. In the manifest, his father, Domingo, gave his occupation as farmer. According to the manifest, the family’s surname was Evia, not de Evia. He graduated from The Dalton School in 1931.The head of the Dalton School Alumni Office confirmed this date of graduation by telephone on 28 August 2006;

Based on immigration and other official records, it appears that Evia altered his surname to de Evia sometime after 1942, at which time he was using the professional name Edgar D. Evia.According to