The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936 Page: 249
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Book Reviews and Notices
An introduction explains the object of the study, the methods
followed, and gives interesting details about the selection and
activities of the indispensable interpreters. The first Part, by
Robert M. Zingg, studies in a very thorough manner the natural
environment, the ethnozoiilogy and ethnobotany of the region and
the material culture of both the Sierra and the gorges. The second
Part, by Wendell C. Bennett, treats at length of social environment
and culture. The third Part, written by both authors, is naturally
the most interesting to the general ethnologist since it consists of
an exhaustive analysis of the Tarahumara culture with regard
to its leading elements, origin, and connections with other cultures.
The Tarahumara, who number about 40,000, occupy a large
area in the state of Chihuahua. The authors selected four points
for intensive study; Samachique and Umird, in the Christianized
part of the Sierra of the upper rios Urique and Batopilas; Quirare,
in the non-Christianized part; Guadalupe, in the Christianized sec-
tion of the barranca region; and finally Nardrachic, a point of
special interest in the Christianized Sierra region.
Originally the Tarahumara culture must have been part of the
general Basket Maker culture. At least, archaeological material
gathered by the authors at Rio Fuerte, South Chihuahua, shows
a substratum similar in several ways to the Basket Maker culture,
one of which is the absence of bean and squash agriculture. To
that first phase succeeded a Cave Dweller phase, which is still
found now, although much modified by foreign contacts, during
which bean and squash were added to corn agriculture.
The Tarahumara culture is now an intricate combination of
traits of different origins. The first contact with European culture
took place about 1600, when the missions were established, and
especially in 1639 when the Jesuits undertook the Christianization
of the country. Frequent uprisings took place before the Indians
gave up. With the advent of the seventeenth century the develop-
ment of gold and silver mining added new "civilizing" elements
to the missionaries. Apache and Yaqui raids and the long chain
of Mexican revolutions brought more foreign influences, and it is
remarkable that after 300 years of such encroachments there would
be still something of a Tarahumara culture. Isolation sought by
many small Indian groups preserved it.
Probably the leading factor in cultural change was the adoption
by the Indians of new domesticated animals, cattle, sheep, goat,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936, periodical, 1936; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/m1/269/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.