The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. By Thomas E. Mails. (Garden City:
Doubleday &8 Company, Inc., 1972. Pp. xvii+618. Illustrations,
notes, bibliography, index. $25.)
Thomas Mails is a minister by vocation and an artist and a collector
by avocation. Since boyhood he has maintained an interest in the West,
and he has combined this with his various talents to produce this hand-
some and substantial account of the Plains Indian from 1750 to 1875.
His aim is to compile scattered bits of information into one volume in
"an attempt to offer everyone an intimate, organized, and yet compre-
hensive meeting with an extraordinary people and their life-way dur-
ing their peak culture period." He finds his subjects estimable, and pre-
sents their way of life not so much as an alternative but as one decidedly
preferable to our modern life style. Indeed, at times the book seems
designed to be a persuasive tract rather than a compendium of facts.
Given his admitted bias and ministerial inclination to equate Christi-
anity with the Indians' religion, however, it is perhaps quixotic to pro-
test a frequent hyperbole.
Paralleling the text are the author's illustrations, chosen from impres-
sive collections of photographs and original artifacts. Because this is a
pictorial book, both quantitatively and informatively, the visual contri-
bution is intrinsic to its success. The text is topically organized and in-
fused with anecdotes, descriptions, and extracts which balance the nec-
essarily general nature of treating the environment, history, customs,
organizations, beliefs and attendant rituals, apparel, crafts, and weapons
of the many tribes. Although there seems to be little evidence of new
insights, and doubtful reward for the serious seeker after the "mystic"
of the title, the book serves as a popular reference and provides interest-
ing, if not engrossing, reading. In any case serious readers must tolerate
occasional dubious generalizations and ingenuous conclusions.
Austin, Texas MARTHA UTTERBACK
The Schiwetz Legacy: An Artist's Tribute to Texas, 1910o-971. By
E. M. "Buck" Schiwetz. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1972.
Pp. 144. Illustrations. $2o.)
The Schiwetz Legacy purports to be a cross section of the work of
E. M. "Buck" Schiwetz, an artist who excels in recording and interpret-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/. Accessed July 11, 2014.