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 ] :

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

_ 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

_ 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).

ARCHAEOLOGY  04/16/98 11:39PM
(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.