Any English-speaking frontiersman who took up with the Indians was dubbed "squaw man"—a term of sinister connotations. Despite pride in descending from Pocahontas and in the vaunted Indian blood of such individuals as Will Rogers, crossbreeding between Anglo-Americans and Indians has been restricted, as compared, for instance, with the interdicted crosses between white men and black women.
The Spaniards, on the other hand, crossed in battalions with the Indians, generating mestizo mixed-blooded nations, of which Mexico is the chief example. As a result, the English-speaking occupiers of the land have in general absorbed directly only a minimum of Indian culture—nothing at all comparable to the Uncle Remus stories and characters and the spiritual songs and the blues music from the Negroes.
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Grandpa still tells how his own grandpa saved or lost his scalp during a Comanche horse-stealing raid in the light of the moon; Boy Scouts hunt for Indian arrowheads; every section of the country has a bluff called Lovers' Leap, where, according to legend, a pair of forlorn Indian lovers, or perhaps only one of the pair, dived to death; the maps all show Caddo Lake, Kiowa Peak, Squaw Creek, Tehuacana Hills, Nacogdoches town, Cherokee County, Indian Gap, and many another place name derived from Indian days.
All such contacts with Indian life are exterior. Three forms of Indian culture are, however, weaving into the life patterns of America. Through the Mexican medium, with which he is becoming more sympathetic, the gringo is getting the ages-old Indian culture. The special groups incline to be arty and worshipful, but they express a salutary revolt against machined existence and they have done much to revive dignity in Indian life. Offsetting dilettantism, the Museum of New Mexico and associated institutions and artists and other individuals have fostered Indian pottery, weaving, silversmithing, dancing, painting, and other arts and crafts.
Superior craftsmanship can now depend upon a fairly reliable market; the taste of American buyers has been somewhat elevated. It expresses a spiritual content in Indian life far removed from the We and God, Incorporated form of religion ordained by the National Association of Manufacturers. There is no romance in Indian fights east of the Mississippi. Little boys still climb into their seats and cry out when red horsemen of the Plains ride across the screen. Indian Stories from the Pueblos , Philadelphia, An anthology of prose and poetry by American Indians.
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Here are singular expressions of beauty and dignity. Delightful folk tales, each leading to a vista.
Historical fiction on ancient pueblo life. The Navajo Indians , Boston, Readable; bibliography. The Rain-Makers , Boston, This thorough treatment of the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico contains an excellent account of the Hopi snake ceremony for bringing rain. During any severe drought numbers of Christians in the Southwest pray without snakes. It always rains eventually—and the prayer-makers naturally take the credit. The Hopis put on a more spectacular show. See Dr. My Adventures in Zuni , Santa Fe, Cushing had rare imagination and sympathy.
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His retellings of tales are far superior to verbatim recordings. Zuni Breadstuff reveals more of Indian spirituality than any other book I can name. All OP. Dancing Gods , Knopf, New York, Erna Fergusson is always illuminating. Grant Foreman is prime authority on the so-called "Civilized Tribes. An account not only of the trading post Wetherills but of the Navajos as human beings, with emphasis on their spiritual qualities.
Indians of the Southwest , New York, Excellent outline of exterior facts. Cry of the Thunderbird , Macmillan, New York, An anthology of writings by Indians containing many interesting leads. Ancient Life in the American Southwest , Indianapolis, A master work in both archeology and Indian nature. With Bertha P. Indispensable encyclopedia, by a very great scholar and a very fine gentleman. Lummis, though self-vaunting and opinionated, opens windows. Outstanding writing. Rhythm for Rain , Boston, Based on ten years spent with the Hopi Indians, this study of their life is a moving story of humanity.
Eloquent, liberating to the human mind; something rare for Texas scholarship. Pearce was professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, an emancipator from prejudices and ignorance. It is a pity that all the college students who are forced by the bureaucrats of Education—Education spelled with a capital E—"the unctuous elaboration of the obvious"—do not take anthropology instead. Collegians would then stand a chance of becoming educated. The use of peyote has now spread northwest into Canada.
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Spider Woman , , and Dezba Woman of the Desert , Both honest, both OP. The clearest view into the mind and living ways, including sex life, of an Indian that has been published. Few autobiographers have been clearer; not one has been franker. A singular human document. They knew some phases of nature with an intimacy that few civilized naturalists ever attain to. It is unfortunate that most of the literature about them is from their enemies.
Yet an enemy often teaches a man more than his friends and makes him work harder. On the Border with Crook , London, Reprinted by Long's College Book Co. A truly great book, on both Apaches and Arizona frontier. Bourke had amplitude, and he knew. The Indian Captive , Bandera, Texas, Homely and realistic.
Despite many strictures, Catlin's two volumes remain standard. Apache Agent , Boston, Worthy autobiography of a noble understander of the Apache people. Apache , Dutton, New York, Noble; vivid; semifiction. Davis helped run Geronimo down. Cynthia Ann Parker , St. Louis, ; reprinted Good narrative of noted woman captive.
The Mustangs , Little, Brown, Boston, The opening chapters of this book distil a great deal of research by scholars on Plains Indian acquisition of horses, riding, and raiding. The Cheyenne Indians , New Haven, This two-volume work supersedes The Fighting Cheyennes , It is noble, ample, among the most select books on Plains Indians.
Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk Tales , , is hardly an equal but it reveals the high values of life held by representatives of the original plainsmen. The Story of the Indian , , is a general survey. Grinnell's knowledge and power as a writer on Indians and animals has not been sufficiently recognized. He combined in a rare manner scholarship, plainsmanship, and the worldliness of publishing. Mainly a history of military activities against Comanches and other tribes, laced with homilies on the free enterprise virtues of the conquerors.
Nine Years with the Indians , Bandera, Texas, Best captive narrative of the Southwest. Factual history. Long Lance , New York, Long Lance was a Blackfoot only by adoption, but his imagination incorporated him into tribal life more powerfully than blood could have. He is said to have been a North Carolina mixture of Negro and Croatan Indian; he was a magnificent specimen of manhood with swart Indian complexion.
No matter what the facts of his life, he wrote a vivid and moving autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian in whom the spirit of the tribe and the natural life of the Plains during buffalo days were incorporated.
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In in the California home of Anita Baldwin, daughter of the spectacular "Lucky" Baldwin, he absented himself from this harsh world by a pistol shot. The Crow Indians , New York, This scholar and anthropologist lived with the Crow Indians to obtain intimate knowledge and then wrote this authoritative book. Wise in exposition; true-to-humanity and delightful in narrative. Valentine T. McGillicuddy, Scotch in stubbornness, honesty, efficiency, and individualism, was U. Indian agent to the Sioux and knew them to the bottom. In the end he was defeated by the army mind and the bloodsuckers known as the "Indian Ring.
My Friend the Indian , , McLaughlin was U. Indian agent and inspector for half a century.
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Despite priggishness, he had genuine sympathy for the Indians; he knew the Sioux, Nez Perces, and Cheyennes intimately, and few books on Indian plainsmen reveal so much as his. Alice Marriott, author of other books on Indians, combines ethnological science with the art of writing. This book of essays on the character of and certain noble characters among the Great Osages, including their upright agent Leban J.
Miles, has profound spiritual qualities.
Black Elk Speaks , New York, Black Elk was a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux. The story of his life as he told it to understanding John G. Neihardt is more of mysteries and spiritual matters than of mundane affairs. Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains , London, Vivid on Comanche raids. See Ruxton in "Surge of Life in the West. My Life as an Indian , In this autobiographical narrative of the life of a white man with a Blackfoot woman, facts have probably been arranged, incidents added.
Whatever his method, the author achieved a remarkable human document. It is true not only to Indian life in general but in particular to the life of a "squaw man" and his loved and loving mate. The Boy Captives , Bandera, Texas, A kind of classic in homeliness. Sitting Bull , Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Excellent biography. A wide-compassing and interesting book on a powerful and interesting people.