Message #154 From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 22:22:54 Subject: Women's Contributions To Early SW Archaeology [ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] : NM-TOPIC-DESERT DAUGHTERS-GLANCE A few notable ``Daughters of the Desert:'' _ Laura Adams Armer: An artist, photographer and filmmaker, Armer made ``In Navajo Land,'' the first film of the Navajo Mountain Chant, in 1928. She wrote several books for young readers about the Navajo and ``Waterless Mountain,'' won the 1932 Newbery Medal for the best children's book of the year. _ Mary Austin: The naturalist and writer campaigned for Pueblo land and water rights, giving time and money to establish the Indian Arts Fund, which encouraged the resurgence of traditional Pueblo art. In 1930, she collaborated with Ansel Adams in Taos Pueblo. _ Ruth Benedict: Wrote the seminal volume on pueblo life, ``Patterns of Culture,'' in 1934. The book remains one of the most influential works by a 20th-century anthropologist. _ Ruth Bunzel: Wrote ``The Pueblo Potter'' in 1929, a landmark in Pueblo aesthetic studies. _ Natalie Curtis Burlin: A classically trained pianist, Burlin edited ``The Indians' Book,'' a 1904 collection of 200 songs from 18 tribes. She also persuaded President Roosevelt to remove an ``assimilationist'' ban prohibiting the singing of native songs. _ Malcolm Collier: Her work laid the foundation for the Council on Anthropology and Education. _ Frances Densmore: The most prolific collector of Native American music, she recorded more than 3,350 Indian songs by 1940. _ Bertha P. Dutton: Dutton first came to the Southwest in 1932 and spent a lifetime preserving the archaeological heritage of New Mexico. _ Erna Fergusson: In the early 1920s, Fergusson and a friend began taking tourists to Indian dances. In 1931, she wrote ``Dancing Gods,'' the first of many travel books. _ Elizabeth Hegemann: The wife of a National Park Service official, Hegemann used her ``postcard-sized'' Kodak camera to document Indian life on the Colorado Plateau and around the Grand Canyon in her 1963 book ``Navaho Trading Days.'' _ Laura Gilpin: One of the foremost photographers of Southwestern Indians. The photographs are featured in her 1968 book ``The Enduring Navaho.'' _ Anna O. Shepard: One of the first to undertake what is now called ethnoarchaeology, she studied pottery making in the Rio Grande pueblos, concentrating on firing techniques at San Ildefonso and Santa Clara pueblos. _ Dorothea Leighton: A physician who arrived on the Navajo Reservation in 1939, Leighton wrote ``The Navajo Door'' in 1944. The book, an introduction to Navajo life for doctors and Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel, was later dubbed the first work of medical anthropology. She also wrote ``Children of the People (1947),'' an influential study of Navajo culture. _ Millicent Rogers: A wealthy New Yorker who first visited New Mexico in 1947, she was among the foremost collectors of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, textiles and pottery. Her collection became the core of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. _ Laura Thompson: Co-authored ``The Hopi Way'' in 1944, the first tribal monograph. _ Mary Cabot Wheelwright: A wealthy Bostonian who first visited the Southwest in 1926, she recorded Navajo songs. In 1937, she built the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial art, in the shape of a ceremonial hogan, to provide a home for the collection. It is now the Wheelwright Museum. _ H. Marie Wormington: The longtime curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Natural History, Wormington wrote the 1947 ``Preshistoric Indians of the Southwest,'' a classic anthropology text. Source: ``Daughter of the Desert: Women Anthropologists and the Native American Southwest, 1880-1980,'' edited by Barbara A. Babock and Nancy J. Parezo (University of New Mexico Press). WOMEN MADE MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOUTHWESTERN ARCHAEOLOGY 04/16/98 11:39PM BY GREG TOPPO THE NEW MEXICAN SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ In 1937, Katherine Spencer Halpern, a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Chicago, decided she wanted to take some time off from her studies for a little fieldwork. The Massachusetts native also wanted to steer clear of New England, where male professors didn't think much of young women interested in getting a bit of dirt under their fingernails. Halpern had heard about a spot on a summer fellowship in anthropology at Chaco Canyon, offered by the University of New Mexico. She decided to try it out. But she also had two friends who were interested as well. So, in the thick of the Great Depression, Halpern and her friends offered their services as a team. They got the fellowship, pooled their savings and split the $100 stipend three ways. Sixty-one years later, the 84-year-old Halpern still remembers: ``It was just an eye-opener.'' Halpern later taught anthropology at Boston University, Harvard and American University in Washington, D.C. She is one of a large group of young women _ among them anthropologists, artists, writers and collectors _ who found their way to New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado during the first half of the 20th century, making major contributions to the study of American Indians and their way of life. ``Daughters of the Desert,'' the women helped define how we look at American Indian culture. Yet their contributions in many cases have never earned the renown of their male counterparts. A handful of the women _ Mary Austin, Laura Gilpin, Erna Fergusson _ have become household names, synonymous with Southwest Indian culture. But dozens of others, less well-known, cut their teeth working in the Southwest. ``They broke ground for other women to follow in their footsteps,'' said Santa Fe anthropologist Susan McGreevy, a former director of the Wheelwright Museum. Most of the women have died, but a few are still around to remember the days when female graduate students first scoured the caves, hills and ruins of the Southwest in search of clues to ancient cultures. In late 1800s, anthropology in the Southwest was ``pretty much a governmental enterprise,'' said McGreevy. The discipline appealed mainly to a small group of military personnel with an interest in learning a thing or two about the tribes they were relocating. Then an 1878 report on the ruins of southwestern Colorado promised ``rich rewards'' for archaeologists and ethnologists who ventured west of the Rio Grande. The following year, Matilda Coxe Stevenson accompanied her husband to Hopi and Zuni pueblos with the first collecting and research expedition of the Smithsonian Institution's new Bureau of Ethnology. She worked under the explorer John Wesley Powell, collecting information on women and the family life of the pueblos. Her work was published _ under her husband's name. After her husband died, Stevenson continued working at Zuni and Zia pueblos, concentrating on their religion for more than a decade before her death in 1915. In 1918, Elsie Clews Parsons, the daughter of a Wall Street broker, lent her considerable resources to bankrolling anthropological research by creating the Southwest Society. Parsons had first arrived in New Mexico in 1910. She became fascinated with Pueblo Indian religion, eventually publishing one of the major works in the field. For the next 30 years, she returned twice a year and served as both benefactor and mentor to hundreds of women. Around this time, women were quickly moving up in the ranks of anthropology, eager to prove that they could be more than just teachers, nurses, social workers or librarians. In 1920, the great Columbia University anthropology professor Franz Boas wrote to a colleague, ``I have had a curious experience: All my best graduate students are women.'' For the next 50 years, the Southwest became a fertile proving ground for young female anthropologists, many of the whom got their taste of freedom from the domesticity, the drawing rooms and the tight social conventions of the East Coast. `The whole environment of the Southwest was very liberating for them, particularly for the women who had come from back East, from such a structured society,'' McGreevy said. Coming to the Southwest gave the women ``the opportunity to do serious work that might not have been available to them otherwise.'' McGreevy said women such as Halpern ``did not have a feminist agenda _ they were just out there doing what they wanted to do. They went out there and they did very good work.'' Still, said Halpern, the women ``had to find their way into a men's world,'' where men were still in charge most of the time. ``We wanted to study anthropology and we wanted to be anthropologists, and so we just went out and did it. Anthropology was just an open enough field that we could,'' she said. Many women came to the Southwest for a brief stint _ a fellowship or a summer of fieldwork _and never came back. Some never left. ``I came here to spend a summer and I've been here ever since,'' wrote Museum of Northern Arizona curator Katharine Bartlett in 1985. She had arrived in Flagstaff in 1930. Author Erna Fergusson, a New Mexico native, began taking tourists to see Indian dances in the early 1920s. Soon she was writing about the dances. Her 1931 book, ``Dancing Gods,'' helped make them one of the biggest attractions of New Mexico. Her tour company became so successful that the Fred Harvey Company bought it and, in a departure from the usual hired cowboys, asked Fergusson to train ``girl guides'' to accompany visitors. Jim Faris, a Santa Fe author of several books on Navajos, said the contribution of the women anthropologists to Indian scholarship has been ``substantial,'' both from scientific and financial perspectives. Well-heeled women such as Parsons, Mary Cabot Wheelwright, Millicent Rogers, Amelia White and Florence Hawley Ellis founded or helped found the Wheelwright Museum and the School of American Research in Santa Fe, the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu. ``These people, they could mold the direction of research," he said. Still, in most anthropology texts, women's contributions are referred to only in passing. Few of the hundreds of women anthropologists who have worked in the Southwest in the past 80 years rate more than a casual mention. ``There's very few of them who have ever had the fame that men had,'' Faris said.