The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 235
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achronistic tribe of Algonquian Indians, no scholars stayed around more
than a few weeks before these hostile Indians chased them away.
The Latorres profited from the mistakes of the earlier attempts. They
obtained a letter of introduction to the Kickapoo chief from the former
Mexican president, Lazaro Cardenas, who had helped these Indians with
their land problems. Secondly, they wisely chose not to live with the In-
dians, as too much closeness, they discovered, bred suspicion. Instead, for
twelve years they lived in the town of Mizquiz, twenty-three miles from
the Kickapoo village. (The village, occupied by some 400 Indians and a
handful of Mexicans who have married into the tribe, is in the state of
Coahuila, eighty air miles from the United States border.) They con-
vinced the Indians that an ethnological study would be of value to later
Kickapoo generations as well as to non-Indians. They visited the village
often, had the Indians as guests in their home, and compiled a wealth of
data on mores, the quest for food, crafts, religion, ailments and cures, use
of intoxicants, and the life cycle. The village, which consists mainly of
Algonquian wigwams and Mexican jacals, has no school, police, fire pro-
tection, mail delivery, places of amusement, or public utilities of any kind.
The Kickapoos' only concessions to the twentieth century are a few flash-
lights, battery-operated radios, butane stoves, some pickups, and tractors.
This is not a historic study. However, the Latorres have given a brief
but excellent account of the Kickapoos' migrations through Michigan,
Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, and, finally, Texas; how
they first popped up in Mexico in the late I83os after they were expelled
from Texas; how other Kickapoos arrived in the i85os and I86os; and
how arrangements were made for them to settle permanently in Mexico in
the I87os. The Mexican Kickapoos have a unique status: they cross freely
at the United States-Mexican border, using ancient passports, and migra-
tory work in Texas and other states is a pattern of life for many of them.
Dolores and Felipe did not get around to fluency in the Kickapoo
language. And they admit that they may have missed "many of the nuances
of the Kickapoo culture" (p. 29) because of this lack. But in their favor,
it must be pointed out that nearly all members of the tribe speak Spanish,
and Spanish is the first language of the Latorres. Furthermore, their work
indicates that they studied the Kickapoo language much more than they
give themselves credit for.
The photographs used in the book are not very good. Some were ill-
conceived. But the main fault, I think, is that the Latorres used color film,
which lost much sharpness when reproduced in black and white.
The Latorres have succeeded in their aim: to unravel, in part, "the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/267/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.