Dale L. Morgan
This compilation of Dale Morgan's historical work on Indians in the Intermountain West focuses primarily on the Shoshone who lived near the Oregon and California trails.
Three connected works by Morgan are included: First is his classic article on the history of the Utah Superintendency of Indian Affairs. This is followed by a previously unpublished history of early relations among the Western Shoshoni, emigrants, and the government along the California Trail. The book concludes with an important set of government reports and correspondence from the National Archives concerning the Eastern Shoshone and their leader Washakie. Morgan heavily annotated these for serial publication in the Annals of Wyoming. He also wrote a previously unpublished history of early relations among the Western Shoshone, emigrants, and the government along the California Trail.
Morgan biographer Richard L. Saunders introduces, edits, and further annotates this collection. His introduction includes an intellectual biography of Morgan that focuses on the place of the anthologized pieces in Morgan's corpus. Gregory E. Smoak, a leading historian of the Shoshone, contributes an ethnohistorical essay as additional context for Morgan's work.
Ronald L. Holt
In this new and updated edition---with a foreword by Lora Tom, chairwoman of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah---Holt recounts the survival of a people against all odds. A compound of rapid white settlement of the most productive Southern Paiute homelands, especially their farmlands near tributaries of the Colorado River; conversion by and labor for the Mormon settlers; and government neglect placed the Utah Paiutes in a state of dependency that ironically culminated in the 1957 termination of their status as federally recognized Indians. The recognition and attendant services were not restored until 1980, but the act revived the Paiutes' identity, self-government, land ownership, and sense of possibility.
Will Evans's writings should find a special niche in the small but significant body of literature from and about traders to the Navajos. Evans was the proprietor of the Shiprock Trading Company. Probably more than most of his fellow traders, he had a strong interest in Navajo culture. The effort he made to record and share what he learned certainly was unusual. He published in the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and other periodicals, compiling many of his pieces into a book manuscript. His subjects were Navajos he knew and traded with, their stories of historic events such as the Long Walk, and descriptions of their culture as he, an outsider without academic training, understood it. Evans's writings were colored by his fondness for, uncommon access to, and friendships with Navajos, and by who he was: a trader, folk artist, and Mormon. He accurately portrayed the operations of a trading post and knew both the material and artistic value of Navajo crafts. His art was mainly inspired by Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, no doubt, sometimes misappropriated that sacred art to paint surfaces and objects of all kinds. As a Mormon, he had particular views of who the Navajos were and what they believed and was representative of a large class of often-overlooked traders. Much of the Navajo trade in the Four Corners region and farther west was operated by Mormons. They had a significant historical role as intermediaries, or brokers, between Native and European American peoples in this part of the West. Well connected at the center of that world, Evans was a good spokesperson.
Will Evans did not publish his book in his lifetime, but his granddaughter Susan Evans Woods reached that goal with the assistance of historian Robert McPherson, who has authored numerous books on Navajo and Four Corners history. Their edition is illustrated with an equally significant, rare selection of photos from the collections of Evans and his colleagues.
Northwest Band Shoshone Nation
"Coyote was tired of being cold," says this traditional Shoshone tale about the arrival of fire in the northern Wasatch region.
Members of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation developed the concept for this retelling in collaboration with book arts teacher Tamara Zollinger. Together, they wrote and illustrated the book.
Bright watercolor-and-salt techniques provide a winning background to the hand-cut silhouettes of the characters. The lively, humorous story about Coyote and his friends is complemented perfectly by later pages written by Northwestern Shoshone elders on the historical background and cultural heritage of the Shoshone nation.
An audio CD with the voice of Helen Timbimboo telling the story in Shoshone and singing two traditional songs makes this book not only good entertainment but an important historical document, too.
Sure to delight readers of all ages, Coyote Steals Fire will be a valuable addition to the family bookshelf, elementary classroom, and the school or public library.
Forrest S. Cuch
This book is a joint project of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and the Utah State Historical Society. It is distributed to the book trade by Utah State University Press.
The valleys, mountains, and deserts of Utah have been home to native peoples for thousands of years. Like peoples around the word, Utah's native inhabitants organized themselves in family units, groups, bands, clans, and tribes. Today, six Indian tribes in Utah are recognized as official entities. They include the Northwestern Shoshone, the Goshutes, the Paiutes, the Utes, the White Mesa or Southern Utes, and the Navajos (Dineh). Each tribe has its own government. Tribe members are citizens of Utah and the United States; however, lines of distinction both within the tribes and with the greater society at large have not always been clear. Migration, interaction, war, trade, intermarriage, common threats, and challenges have made relationships and affiliations more fluid than might be expected. In this volume, the editor and authors endeavor to write the history of Utah's first residents from an Indian perspective. An introductory chapter provides an overview of Utah's American Indians and a concluding chapter summarizes the issues and concerns of contemporary Indians and their leaders. Chapters on each of the six tribes look at origin stories, religion, politics, education, folkways, family life, social activities, economic issues, and important events. They provide an introduction to the rich heritage of Utah's native peoples. This book includes chapters by David Begay, Dennis Defa, Clifford Duncan, Ronald Holt, Nancy Maryboy, Robert McPherson, Mae Parry, Gary Tom, and Mary Jane Yazzie.
Forrest Cuch was born and raised on the Uintah and Ouray Ute Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah. He graduated from Westminster College in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in behavioral sciences. He served as education director for the Ute Indian Tribe from 1973 to 1988. From 1988 to 1994 he was employed by the Wampanoag Tribe in Gay Head, Massachusetts, first as a planner and then as tribal administrator. Since October 1997 he has been director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs.
E. Richard Hart
Pedro Pino, or Lai-iu-ah-tsai-lu (his Zuni name) was for many years the most important Zuni political leader. He served during a period of tremendous change and challenges for his people. Born in 1788, captured by Navajos in his teens, he was sold into a New Mexican household, where he obtained his Spanish name. When he returned to Zuni, he spoke three languages and brought with him a wealth of knowledge regarding the world outside the pueblo. For decades he ably conducted Zuni foreign relations, defending the pueblo's sovereignty and lands, establishing trade relationships, interacting with foreigners-from prominent military and scientific expeditions to common emigrants-and documenting all in a remarkable archive. Steeped in Zuni traditions, he was known among other things for his diplomatic savvy, as a great warrior, for his oratory, and for his honesty and hospitality.
More than a biography, Richard Hart's work provides a history of Zuni during an especially significant period. Also the author of Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign Land Rights and the co-author of A Zuni Atlas, Hart originally wrote the manuscript in 1979 after a decade of historical work for Zuni Pueblo. He then set it aside but continued to pursue research about and for Zuni. Its publication, at last, inscribes an important contribution to Pueblo history and biography and a testimonial to a remarkable Native American leader. In an afterword written for this publication, Hart discusses his original intentions in writing about Pedro Pino and Zuni and situates the biography in relation to current scholarship.
Larry Evers and Barre Toelken
This collection provides a benchmark that helps secure the position of collaboration between Native American and non-Native American scholars in the forefront of study of Native oral traditions. Seven sets of intercultural authors present Native American oral texts with commentary, exploring dimensions of perspective, discovery, and meaning that emerge through collaborative translation and interpretation. The texts studied all come from the American West but include a rich variety of material, since their tribal sources range from the Yupik in the Arctic to the Yaqui in the Sonoran Desert.
This presentation of jointly authored work is timely: it addresses increasing interest in, calls for, and movement toward reflexivity in the relationships between scholars and the Native communities they study, and it responds to the renewed commitment in those communities to asserting more control over representations of their traditions. Although Native and academic communities have long tried to work together in the study of culture and literature, the relationship has been awkward and imbalanced toward the academics. In many cases, the contributions of Native assistants, informants, translators, and field workers to the work of professional ethnographers has been inadequately credited, ignored, or only recently uncovered. Native Americans usually have not participated in planning and writing such projects. Native American Oral Traditions provides models for overcoming such obstacles to interpreting and understanding Native oral literature in relation to the communities and cultures from which it comes.
Robert S. Mcpherson
The Navajo nation is one of the most frequently researched groups of Indians in North America. Anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and others have taken turns explaining their views of Navajo history and culture. A recurrent theme throughout is that the U.S. government defeated the Navajos so soundly during the early 1860s that after their return from incarceration at Bosque Redondo, they were a badly shattered and submissive people.
The next thirty years saw a marked demographic boom during which the Navajo population doubled. Historians disagree as to the extent of this growth, but the position taken by many historians is that because of this growth and the rapidly expanding herds of sheep, cattle, and horses, the government beneficently gave more territory to its suffering wards.
While this interpretation is partly accurate, it centers on the role of the government, the legislation that was passed, and the frustrations of the Indian agents who rotated frequently through the Navajo Agency in Fort Defiance, New Mexico, and ignores or severely limits one of the most important actors in this process of land acquisition-the Navajos themselves. Instead of being a downtrodden group of prisoners, defeated militarily in the 1860s and dependent on the U.S. government for protection and guidance in the 1870s and 80s, they were vigorously involved in defending and expanding the borders of their homelands. This was accomplished not through war and as a concerted effort, but by an aggressive defensive policy built on individual action that varied with changing circumstances. Many Navajos never made the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo. Instead they eluded capture in northern and western hinterlands and thereby pushed out their frontier. This book focuses on the events and activities in one part of the Navajo borderlands-the northern frontier-where between 1860 and 1900 the Navajos were able to secure a large portion of land that is still part of the reservation. This expansion was achieved during a period when most Native Americans were losing their lands.
Matthew E. Kreitzer
Writings by American Indians from the early twentieth century or earlier are rare. Willie Ottogary's letters have the distinction of being firsthand reports of an Indian community's ongoing social life by a community member and leader. The Northwestern Shoshone residing at the Washakie colony in northern Utah descended from survivors of the Bear River Massacre. Most had converted to the Mormon Church and remained in northern Utah rather than moving to a federal Indian reservation. For over twenty years, local newspapers in Utah and southern Idaho regularly published letters from Ottogary reporting happenings-personal milestones and health crises, comings and goings, social events, economic conditions and activities, efforts at political redress-at Washakie and other Shoshone communities in the intermountain West. Matthew Kreitzer compiled and edited the letters of Ottogary and added historical commentary and appendices, biographical data on individuals Ottogary mentioned, and eighty-five rare historical photographs. Written in a vernacular English and printed unedited in the newspapers, the letters describe a society in cultural transition and present Ottogary's distinctively Shoshone point of view on anything affecting his people. Thus, they provide an unusual picture of Shoshone life through a critical period, a time when many Indian communities reached a historical nadir. While the letters unflinchingly report the many difficulties and challenges the Shoshone faced, they portray a vital and dynamic society, whose members led full lives and actively pursued their own interests. Ottogary lobbied constantly for Shoshone rights, forging alliances with Shoshone throughout the region, visiting Washington D.C., advocating legislation, and participating in Goshute-Western Shoshone draft resistance during World War I.
Robert S. McPherson
Ak'é Nýdzin, or Navajo Oshley, was born sometime between 1879 and 1893. His oral memoir is set on the northern frontier of Navajo land, principally the San Juan River basin in southeastern Utah, and tells the story of his early life near Dennehetso and his travels, before there were roads or many towns, from Monument Valley north along Comb Ridge to Blue Mountain. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Anglos and Navajos expanded their use and settlement of lands north of the San Juan. Grazing lands and the Anglo wage economy drew many Navajos across the river. Oshley, a sheepherder, was among the first to settle there. He cared for the herds of his extended family, while also taking supplemental jobs with the growing livestock industry in the area.
His narrative is woven with vivid and detailed portraits of Navajo culture: clan relationships, marriages and children, domestic life, the importance of livestock, complex relations with the natural world, ceremonies, trading, and hand trembling.
Scott R. Christensen
The Northwestern Shoshone knew as home the northern Great Salt Lake, Bear River, Cache, and Bear Lake valleys-northern Utah. Sagwitch was born at a time when his people traded with the mountain men. In the late 1850s, wagons brought Mormon farmers to settle in Cache Valley, the Northwestern Shoshone heartland. Emigrants and settlers reduced Shoshone access to traditional village sites and food resources. Relationships with the Mormons were mostly good but often strained, and the Shoshone treatment of migrants, who now traveled north and south as well as west and east through the area, was increasingly opportunistic. It only took a few violent incidents for a zealous army colonel to seek severe punishment of the Northwestern Shoshone on a winter morning in 1863. The Bear River Massacre was among the bloodiest engagements of America's Indian wars. Hundreds of Shoshone, including Sagwitch's wife and two sons, died; he was wounded but escaped. The band was shattered; other chiefs dead.
The following years were very hard for the survivors. The federal government negotiated a treaty with them but failed to get Sagwitch's signature when, enroute to the sessions, he was arrested and then wounded by a white assassin. With the world around him changed, Sagwitch sought accommodation with the most immediate threat to his people's traditional way of survival-the Mormons occupying the Shoshone's valleys.
This, then, is also the story of the conversion of Sagwitch and his band to the Mormon Church. Though not without problems, that conversion was long lasting and thorough. Sagwitch and other Shoshone would demonstrate in important ways their new religious devotion. With the assistance of Mormon leaders, they established the Washakie community in northern Utah. Though efforts to secure a land base had an uneven history, they partly succeeded, and the story of these Shoshone's attempts at rural farming diverged significantly from what happened on government reservations. When Sagwitch died, his death went almost unnoticed outside of Washakie, but his children and grandchildren continued to be important voices among a people who, after experiencing near annihilation, survived in the new world into which Sagwitch led them.
Elizabeth Bernhardt Pinson
Elizabeth B. Pinson shares with us her memories of Alaska's emergence into a new and modern era, bearing witness to history in the early twentieth century as she recalls it. She draws us into her world as a young girl of mixed ethnicity, with a mother whose Eskimo family had resided on the Seward Peninsula for generations and a father of German heritage. Growing up in and near the tiny village of Teller on the Bering Strait, Elizabeth at the age of six, despite a harrowing, long midwinter sled ride to rescue her, lost both her legs to frostbite when her grandparents, with whom she was spending the winter in their traditional Eskimo home, died in the 1918 influenza epidemic.
Fitted with artificial legs financed by an eastern benefactor, Elizabeth kept journals of her struggles, triumphs, and adventures, recording her impressions of the changing world around her and experiences with the motley characters she met. These included Roald Amundsen, whose dirigible landed in Teller after crossing the Arctic Circle; the ill-fated 1921 British colonists of Wrangel Island in the Arctic; trading ship captains and crews; prospectors; doomed aviators; and native reindeer herders. Elizabeth moved on to boarding school, marriage, and the state of Washington, where she compiled her records into this memoir and where, now in her 90s, she lives.