The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933 Page: 76

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

his gambling, meteoric rise to wealth and power, and of his sudden
fall-a penniless man-is one of dramatic power. The book closes
with Death Valley Scotty, pretentious show-man and mysterious
desert rat, whose be-legended mine has never been found.
Zuni Folk Tales. By Frank Hamilton Cushing. With a foreword
by J. W. Powell and an introduction by Mary Austin. (New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931. Pp. xxxv, 474. Illustra-
tions. $5.00.)
In 1879 Major J. W. Powell, founder of the Bureau of Ethnology,
appointed Frank Hamilton Cushing to accompany the Powell
archaeological expedition into New Mexico, an immensely rich
field almost wholly unexplored. Before the expedition left New
Mexico, Cushing, at his own request, "was left at Zufii Pueblo, the
most significant and interesting of the Indian communal towns."
At twenty-two years of age he began the mastery of the Zufii lan-
guage, "of which there is no other living example." He lived with
the Zufiis between five and six years, adapting, as completely as
possible, his modes of life to their own; abandoning his own racial
culture to more completely understand theirs. As far as it seems
possible for a white man to do, he approached the life of the Indian
from the point of view of an Indian. He was adopted into one of
the clans, and came to exercise important religious functions.
Time and again he heard the Zufiis relate their folk-tales, and
he sought, particularly, their sacred literature-the creation epic
of the tribe. Later, he drew an outline and a partial translation
of this myth, but death cut short its completion. From the sub-
sidiary tales which clustered around the creation myth, he drew
the material for this delightful book. These tales into which the
Indian enters so naturally, through which so much of his life is
disclosed, and through which moves the personified animal life of
the Southwest-the coyote, the prairie dog and his priest, the
burrowing owl, the bear, the birds, and the snakes-are an ex-
pression of the creative genius of the American Indian. Through
Cushing's skillful translations into simple and beautiful English,
through the application of an exceptional literary understanding,
and through his faithful preservation of their aboriginal quality

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933, periodical, 1933; Austin, Texas. ( accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.