Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest and Northern Mexico

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A guide to diagnosis and treatment of voice problems emphasizing a foundation in normal phonatory physiology and acoustics as well as pathophysiology arising from misuse, abuse, or neurological involvement. The volume outlines differential diagnosis, voice problems associated with the nervous system, organic disease, trauma, and geriatric considerations. Treatment is covered from history taking and examination to surgery and rehabilitation. The second edition features new information on stroboscopic examinations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816515493
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 7.03 (w) x 10.05 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas E. Sheridan holds a joint appointment as professor of Anthropology at the Southwest Center and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He has authored or co-edited eleven other books. Nancy J. Parezo is Curator of Ethnology at the Arizona State Museum and, with Barbara Babcock, co-editor of Daughters of the Desert.
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Table of Contents

List of Plates
List of Figures
Foreword
Introduction
The Dine (Navajos): Sheep Is Life 3
Creation Story: The Gathering of the Clans 5
Navajo Weaving 20
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
Seri Santos 206
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
Contributors 281
Plate and Figure Credits 285
Index 291
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