The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Book Reviews

Although the book manuscript by Bolton on the Hasinai was written almost
one hundred years ago, and in places it reads like it (i.e., describing a Caddo rit-
ual of hunting as "peculiar" [p. 104], their cooking as "crude" [p. 1 10], and
their architecture as representing a "middle grade of Indian culture" [p. i111]),
it still stands as a classic historical and ethnographic study of this aboriginal
group. Historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists interested in the Caddo
Indians would be well served to read Bolton's book for the first time, if they have
not already done so, or to peruse it once again.
Austin TIMOTHY K. PERTTULA
Comanche Society: Before the Reservation. By Gerald Betty. (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 2002. Pp. 239. Illustrations, acknowledgments, intro-
duction, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-58544-190-2. $39.95, cloth.)
This dissertation expounds its author's conviction that principles of kinship
account for virtually every aspect of Comanche behavior and therefore explain the
complex evolution of that fascinating nation. His analysis is presented in five chap-
ters: "Comanche Kinship and Society"; "Comanche Migration and Geographic
Mobility"; "Comanche Horse Pastoralism"; "The Nature of Comanche Economics";
"An Explanation of Comanche Violence." To support his argument, he appends "A
Discussion of Theoretical Issues" and "A Timeline of Comanche History,
1706-1850." The latter is drawn from his diligent search of pertinent publications
plus a few documents.
Betty's simplistic assumption of Comanche exceptionalism seems to disregard
significant behavioral similarities among various Indian peoples who re-shaped
their life ways around the horse. E.g., the vengeance imperative operated simi-
larly among all of them. So did strict rules of exogamy that led men to capture
mates from another people.
Essentially raw academic meat, this book offers little for general readers, even
among dedicated aficionados of the Comancheria. However, it sets for its
author and interested colleagues a challenging agenda for further inquiry.
Austin ELIZABETH A. H. ST. JOHN
Fzrst to Fight. By Henry Mihesuah. Edited by Devon Abbott Mihesuah. (Lincoln:
University of Nebraska Press, 2002. Pp. xvii+103. Illustrations, introduc-
tions, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-57168-683-5. $24.95, paper.)
The publication of American Indian biographies has figured largely in anthro-
pological studies, yet, the relationship between anthropologists and their
American Indian subjects has been fraught with problems. Thirty years ago,
Standing Rock Sioux scholar Vine DeloriaJr. spent a fair amount of time outlin-
ing these problems. Almost thirty years later, Crow Creek Sioux scholar
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn portrays as fundamentally unchanged the relationship
between ethnographers and Indian informants. Cook-Lynn attributes anthropol-
ogy's quick rise to the ethnographers who have produced American Indian

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed September 1, 2014.