The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 432
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
which contradict or at least modify Redfield's findings. Such
attitudes, rather than feelings of "Off Limits," are needed
throughout cultural studies; in analyzing the vastly complex and
subtle facets of any community certain limitations are inevitable.
That these can at least partially be broken down or compensated
for by further research, either by the original or another inves-
tigator, is obvious. Nevertheless, such restudy has occurred all
too seldom, and our knowledge of culture, in general, and cer-
tain communities, specifically, has suffered accordingly.
In addition to rechecking earlier data, Lewis expanded his
research to demography, the land problem, systems of agricul-
ture, distribution of wealth, standards of living, politics and local
government, life cycle of the individual (including Rorschach
data), and interpersonal relations. Thus, the volume contains a
considerable body of entirely new data on Tepoztlin.
Material considered to have been adequately treated by Red-
field, i. e., material culture, the fiesta system, the corridos, magic,
and medicine, were not deemed essential for Lewis' purposes
and hence were not re-examined. While this exclusion may have
been justified within the overall scheme of the research under
Lewis, one must wonder if restudy of these factors might not
have been desirable. Even the verification of complete handling
by Redfield and the discovery of no subsequent change (some-
what doubtful), would have furnished valuable perspective on
cultural stability in at least these features.
Another noteworthy point in the approach made by Lewis was
the reaction to a native elder's comment, "Many people have
come here to study us, but not one of them has helped us."
Lewis, by enlisting cooperation from Mexican authorities, there-
upon took measures to secure technicians and experts capable
of assisting the community in bettering its situation. While field
workers can rarely pause to treat local ailments, it is true that
some conscious effort expended in this direction, or at least an
expressed awareness of such possibilities, might do more to estab-
lish rapport and achieve local cooperation than almost anything
else the anthropologist might do. While the elder's attitude may
have been overly biased, the incident does indicate opportunities
a field investigator would do well to keep in mind.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/506/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.