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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

many Hispanos within a region that has had serious environmental limitations. In
part three he works out the dynamic interplay between Hispano history and the
distinctive material culture of Rio Arriba. Carlson offers important new contribu-
tions as he places a dynamic group of people within the cultural realm of seeing
land as a dimension of one's self. Social status and class were reflected through
land. Social status, not contract, nor economics, for that matter, was foremost.
Land in Rio Arriba had multiple dimensions. It was the heart of community and
loss of land left one in a position of subordination. Carlson gives us the ancestral
struggle to maintain the land, and he seems to understand this struggle even as
he attacks the Alianza Federal de Mercedes for its so-called misguided resistance.
A society of modest but prosperous land-holding communities is a present ide-
al in Rio Arriba. It has its roots in the Iberian legacy and in pre-Columbian Indi-
an history. Despite misapplied U.S. agrarian laws, it has been kept alive in
northern New Mexico. As Carlson recognizes, Hispanos have not been evicted
from their communities in large numbers. His presentation of this reality is bal-
anced, but his partisan attack on the opposition destroys his inquiry.
The book is handsomely designed with excellent maps and charts. The bibli-
ography displays a good use of the sources and of time spent on research. The
appendices are also of value.
University of Texas-Pan American ROBERTO MARIO SALM6N
Western Apache Heritage: People of the Mountazn Corridor. By Richard J. Perry
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991. Pp. xiii+298. Preface, maps, black-
and-white photographs, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $37.50;
cloth, $17.95, paper.)
Of native peoples, the Eyak-Athapaskan are believed to be the most recent im-
migrants from Siberia. They entered Alaska in small population pulses perhaps
beginning two millennia ago, the Bering Strait, recreated by the rising sea level
some 4,ooo years ago, proving no barrier. The Eyak had split from the Proto-
Athapaskan "sometime in the second millennium B.C." (p. 102), no doubt in
Siberia. The Athapaskans probably established themselves initially on the
Alaskan coast between Anchorage and the Copper River, from there expanding
into central Alaska. They now range from the Koyukon River north of the Yukon
to isolated groups on the Pacific Coast, to the Chipewyan as far east as Hudson
Bay, and southerly by way of the Mountain Corridor to become the presently
populous Navajo and dispersed Apaches of the Southwest. Although never until
recently a numerous people, they were a vigorous stock. Their many tribes speak
related dialects or derivative languages, and their common origin was deter-
mined through linguistic and archeological legacies. In this evolutionary process
"considerable cultural diversity" has developed, but "they have retained echoes
of a common heritage" (p. 9). It is these "echoes" that Perry finds quite as infor-
mative as archeological relics and linguistics.
This complex history had been known in general terms, but Perry, in his ad-
mirable synthesis of various scientific studies, tells the overall story as it never has

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed July 12, 2014.