The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954

Book Reviews

made in the text, although footnotes are used to make reference
to illustrations.
There are eleven illustrative plates containing line drawings of
well over three hundred brand faces, principally of Spanish-
American brands. The book is primarly concerned with these
Mexican and Spanish-American brands, and the main thesis of
the work seems to be the mythological origins of brands in
religious folklore.
Brands are treated symbolically, and various chapters trace
origins for the symbols in the Sun, the Moon, the Indian Sign,
the Stars, Crosses, Serpents, Weapons, Flowers, and so on. In this
way the topic of Texas brands serves as a convenient hook from
which is hung a great deal of miscellaneous folklore. Indian
petroglyphs are found to survive in brands featuring the "man-
sign." The symbology of sun worship is found in some brands,
and the malevolent influence of the moon is seen in others, while
symbols of religious duality, fertility, and creation are also noted
in various brands.
The practical Anglo-American cattlemen named these fancy
brands "quien sabes," and the reviewer echoes his perplexity. He
finds it difficult to imagine, for instance, that Glidden's & San-
born's Frying Pan brand (so eminently natural a design) was
devised to represent a comet in order to bring cool weather
to the Texas Panhandle.
The book will be enjoyable light reading to many, but short-
comings of typography and organization alone will probably pre.
vent its acceptance as a serious contribution to history. The author
is to be praised, however, for her vigorous approach to a difficult
topic, and Texas is the richer for her work.
Changing Military Patterns on the Great Plains. By Frank Ray-
mond Secoy. Monograph XXI, American Ethnological So-
ciety. New York (J. J. Augustin, Inc.), 1953. Pp. viii+l2.
This carefully documented and well-written little volume con-
cerns itself with the changes occuring in the military techniques
of the Plains Indians during two centuries (1630-1830) of contact
with Europeans. In the early post-contact period the introduction


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 31, 2015.