By Bertha P. Dutton
For those who have neither specialized training nor time to read extensively about southwestern Indian cultures, this book provides an authoritative introduction. Covered here are history and contemporary tribal affairs, arts and crafts, changing lifeways, and cultural and social characteristics that set apart each Indian group in the Southwest.
From their emergence in the New World centuries ago, through their evolution into contemporary Native Americans, the Indians of the American Southwest have endured the hardships of a desert land and hostilities with those who would usurp it and annihilate their culture. They now face the challenge of maintaining an ancient system of beliefs and a separate identity while coexisting in the modern world with peoples whose philosophy and way of life are very different. In American Indians of the Southwest, anthropologist Bertha P. Dutton combines an interdisciplinary approach with the kind of wisdom and knowledge gained only after ten years of research and experience to tell us their story.
Her comprehensive account of each group of native southwestern Indians includes those who no longer exist or who have merged with other groups. She skillfully guides us through prehistory and history, to contemporary Indian life and issues. But the book is more than a compendium of Indian history and culture; it is a remarkable and sympathetic appreciation for the unique lifeways of these native peoples of the Southwest.
“Sound and informative and should be starred reading for all those with an awakening interest in Southwestern Indians, arts and crafts, and contemporary Indian affairs….Those contemplating travel through the Southwest can truly benefit from the wealth of practical information contained herein.”
—Charlotee J. Frisbie, Southern Illinois University
Bertha P. Dutton was a distinguished anthropologist of the American Southwest. Her fieldwork and publications on the archaeology and ethnology of the Southwestern and Meso-American Indians spanned fifty years.
University of New Mexico Press, 1983