The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 379
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Indian culture. It is particularly valuable for its analysis of con-
temporary changes in a variety of human culture which has long
been noted for its stability and conservatism.
One of the most valuable features of Whitman's study is his
documentation of recent changes in San Ildefonso economic life.
Agriculture was formerly the basis of San Ildefonso economy.
This was man's work; and the primary aim of most religious
activity, also dominated by men, was securing an abundant har-
vest. Today pottery making, which is woman's work, is the main
source of income. A good woman potter can make much more
money by selling her products to tourists and traders than her
husband can make by farming. This has given San Ildefonso
women an economic and social importance which they did not
have in earlier times. San Ildefonso used to be a man's world,
but today it is becoming more and more a woman's world. Whit-
man's evidence shows that women are now actually controlling
village affairs through their husbands.
San Ildefonso men still do a certain amount of farming, but
they spend much of their time helping the women make pottery.
They usually decorate the pottery and help to fire it. For a short
period, through Anglo-American stimulus, many San Ildefonso
men painted pictures of traditional Indian subjects in water
color, and some of these paintings were exhibited in large cities.
Despite favorable comment by critics, however, this art renais-
sance soon declined. In the past few years some San Ildefonso
men have begun to work on government reservation projects for
a daily wage.
The surplus wealth and prestige derived from pottery making
has made San Ildefonso much more sophisticated than other
neighboring Pueblo Indian villages. A small leisure class appears
to be developing. San Ildefonso women frequently employ Span-
ish-American women to do their house work. Money from the
sale of pottery is used to buy automobiles, radios, and furniture;
and some of the young men are being sent to college. This new
economic orientation is thus responsible for a marked and rapid
change in San Ildefonso culture.
Like all previous investigators of Pueblo Indian life, Whitman
was unable to break through the "iron curtain" of secrecy which
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/473/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.