The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

improvements for minority workers in the face of bureaucratic and political
barriers to its success. Daniel argues that suppression of critical FEPC hearings
was but one of many ways in which the federal government undermined FEPC
effectiveness while FDR publicly endorsed egalitarian principles in wartime
employment. The FEPC lacked enforcement powers, the commission never
had the funds or the leadership to conduct rigorous investigations, and the
War Manpower Commission rode roughshod over the FEPC in the professed
interests of maintaining wartime production.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte JULIA KIRK BLACKWELDER
Hecho En Tejas: Texas-Mexican Folk Arts and Crafts. By Joe S. Graham. (Denton,
Texas: University of North Texas Press, 1991. Pp. xi + 357. Preface, bibli-
ography, contributors, index, photographs. $29.95.)
In this book, Joe S. Graham, who has already established his passion for
Tejano material culture in his research and writing, has assembled the work of
seventeen authors, including himself, to address numerous Tejano folk arts
and crafts. Hecho En Tejas opens with Graham's excellent discussion of folk art
aesthetics and the historical role of arts and crafts in Tejano life. The essay is
well illustrated with photographs of twenty-seven different forms of folk art
traditions, such as deshalado (drawnwork), a guitarron (six-string bass guitar), a
pair of stainless steel spurs, a hand-forged door latch, and a handmade floor
loom. Most of the articles that follow describe in some detail the intricacies of
a particular traditional craft: the making of a bajo sexto (a twelve-stringed gui-
tar) or grutas (grottoes). Others focus on both the construction and meaning of
nachos (yard shrines) and other religious folk arts of Mexican Americans in
South Texas. These pieces are also followed by a series of photographs which
assist the reader, especially the novice, to understand the process of construct-
ing and maintaining these traditional forms.
Some of the essays focus on the arts and crafts that men have produced, such
as lariats, chaps, and cattle whips. A few point out the role of women as quilters
or altarcistas (home altar makers). While the book reveals that men and women
tend to produce specific gender-defined work, pifiata-making is one craft in
which men and women may collaborate to operate a business. Groups also pro-
duce other crafts. For instance, families and friends often jointly erect descansos
(roadside crosses) and cemetery markers as tangible memorials to honor de-
ceased loved ones.
Overall, this book is an important addition to the study of Mexican American
material culture In the state because all the writers approach the artistic and
functional value of Tejano folk arts and crafts in a serious manner. Moreover,
by organizing this diverse representation of Tejano folk arts and crafts, Gra-
ham has created a valuable tool for future researchers .

Texas State Histo i cal As.soczation



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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