Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest and Northern Mexicoby Thomas E. Sheridan, Nancy J. Parezo
Pub. Date: 03/01/1996
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Within these pages are living portraits of fifteen Native American groups of Arizona and northern Mexico. The Navajos, the Western Apaches, the Hualapais, Yavapais, and Havasupais, the Yaquis, the O'odham, the Tarahumaras, the Southern Paiutes, the Seris, the Colorado River Yumans--Quechan, Mohaves, Cocopas, and Maricopas--and the Hopis. Literally and figuratively,… See more details below
Within these pages are living portraits of fifteen Native American groups of Arizona and northern Mexico. The Navajos, the Western Apaches, the Hualapais, Yavapais, and Havasupais, the Yaquis, the O'odham, the Tarahumaras, the Southern Paiutes, the Seris, the Colorado River Yumans--Quechan, Mohaves, Cocopas, and Maricopas--and the Hopis. Literally and figuratively, the paths they walk are the same paths walked by their ancestors, going back hundreds and even thousands of years.
Through history, most of these groups have seen their homelands conquered by outside military forces and their people scattered far and wide. Yet, despite years of exile and subjugation, they have all kept alive their cultures, their sense of being a people. This book explores the symbols, rituals, and words that have ensured continuity and that distinguish each group from others. Equally important, Paths of Life describes the dynamic changes that are occurring in each group as new ideas are incorporated into traditional ways of life.
The book focuses on one major cultural theme for each group. The chapter on the Navajos, for example, illustrates how the work of sheepherding reinforces the Diné way of relating to one another and living off the land, while the chapter on the Yaquis examines how Catholic and Native rituals have become fused into a uniquely meaningful Yaqui religion. Throughout the book, the guidance and advice of respected Indian scholars have ensured both accuracy and authenticity.
The pages in this volume are filled with individuals like Victoriano Churro, "a man who ran like a deer," and artist Grace Mitchell: "I'm going to weave a basket. I'll gather mulberry shoots, split them and roll them . . . " There are glimpses of the Yaqui flower world, "Wilderness world / flower freely, is blowing, / wilderness world," and the Seri creation myth, "Slender whirlwinds coming from the sky touch the land. / Sounds of arrows / striking the ground, / roaring, / raising dust clouds." Here also are Father Sun and Mother Moon, Rock Crystal Boy and Yellow Corn Girl, Spider Woman, Wolf, and of course Coyote.
Among the many books written about these groups, Paths of Life is rare for its breadth of information. The book includes dozens of photographs, both color and black-and-white, as well as a number of short asides, which discuss special points of interest. Readers in search of even more information will appreciate a carefully selected list of suggested additional reading.
Encompassing anthropology, history, Native American cultures, arts, and folklore, at heart this is a book for anyone--teacher, student, armchair traveler, general reader--whose imagination has been captured by the lands and peoples of the Greater Southwest.
Thomas E. Sheridan is Curator of Ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum and author of Arizona: A History; Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941; and Where the Dover Calls: The Political Ecology of a Peasant Corporate Community in Northwestern Mexico, all published by the University of Arizona Press. Nancy J. Parezo is Curator of Ethnology at the Arizona State Museum and, with Barbara Babcock, co-editor of Daughters of the Desert. The editors relied heavily on Native American advisors as participants in, not simply subjects of, the book.
- University of Arizona Press
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Table of Contents
|List of Plates|
|List of Figures|
|The Dine (Navajos): Sheep Is Life||3|
|Creation Story: The Gathering of the Clans||5|
|Learning to Be Navajo||24|
|The Yoemem (Yaquis): An Enduring People||35|
|The Yoremem (Mayos)||41|
|Yaqui and Mayo Pahkola/Pahkora Masks||50|
|The Inde (Western Apaches): The People of the Mountains||61|
|Apache Creation Story: The Things Legends Are Made Of||64|
|The Chiricahua Apaches||70|
|The Havasupais, Hualapais, and Yavapais: The Great Creator Has Given Us This Country||91|
|How to Weave a Basket||96|
|Lucille J. Watahomigie: Scholar and Educator||111|
|The O'odham (Pimas and Papagos): The World Would Burn Without Rain||115|
|The Wi:gida Ceremony||124|
|Diet and Diabetes among the O'odham||130|
|The Raramuri (Tarahumaras): When We Walk in Circles||141|
|The Raramuri and the Leadville Trail 100||144|
|The Railroad and the Tourists||159|
|The Ningwi (Southern Paiutes): The People of the Northwestern Frontier||163|
|Southern Paiute Baskets||170|
|Marking the Traditional Landscape||175|
|"The Navajo Wedding Basket"||183|
|The Comcaac (Seris): People of the Desert and Sea||187|
|Seri Ironwood Carving||204|
|The Colorado River Yumans: Relations on the River||213|
|Dreaming for Power||215|
|The Cocopa Game of Peon||233|
|The Hopis: Hopivotskwani, the Hopi Path of Life||237|
|Emergence to the Fourth World||240|
|The Homol'ovi Ruins of Northeastern Arizona||244|
|Women's Roles: The Heart of Hopi Society||248|
|References and Suggested Readings||267|
|Plate and Figure Credits||285|
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