communal matter the chief had authority for them" (p. 131).
"This group [Pawnees] was a branch of the Caddoes and con-
sisted of the Pawnees, Arikaras and Wichitas" (p. 135). The truth
of the matter is that Pawnees, Arikaras, the Wichita tribes, and
the various Caddo tribes spoke dialects or distinct languages of a
linguistic stock or family known as Caddoan.
Downright errors of fact abound, a few of which are chosen for
illustration. Sitting Bull was a Sioux (Dakota) Indian of the
Hunkpapa division, not a Chippewa as is stated (p. 151).
Tecumseh was a Shawnee, not a Chippewa (p. 151). No North
American Indians grew potatoes, much less "in great quantity"
(p. 154). Physical anthropologists will be interested to learn that
"Finns" (p. 174) are Mongoloids. No "bone needles with eyes"
(p. 3) have ever been found in association with remains labeled
Folsom by archeologists. The alpaca is an American camel; by no
stretch of the imagination is it a "goat" (p. 21). The Wichita
peoples, whom Coronado met in Kansas, become in this book
native Texans, in fact, one of the major Caddo confederacies of
East Texas (p. 77). Kit Carson subdued the Navahos in 1863, not
as Reading would have it, in 1813 (P. 55)
No close track of misspelling was kept; some of the more ob-
vious are: "stealite" (p. 161) for steatite; "Rodin" (p. 111) and
"Roden" (p. 2oo) for Paul Radin, an anthropologist; "Sonnech-
sen" (p. 2oo) for historian Charles L. Sonnichsen; "Espanosa"
(p. 78) for Espinosa, a Spanish missionary; and inevitably, "In-
dains" (p. 82) for Indians.
American Indians are not as well known or understood as they
should be. Many problems remain, much work remains to be done,
much needs to be said about their ways of life, their origins, the
development of their culture. But those who feel they must write
about the American Indian, should in all fairness to their readers,
consult the basic literature on Indians. If they only repeat what
has been said before no harm will have been done. But if they
distort, twist, and torture the facts through their own slovenli-
ness and misunderstandings, as does Indian Civilization, they
contribute not understanding but confusion, not knowledge but
ignorance. W. W. NEWCOMB, JR.
Texas Memorial Museum
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed November 24, 2014.