The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 342
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
among its readers. Some anthropologists will find fault with its superficial
treatment of important confederations; for example, a careful student of
the Sioux will feel that they deserve a more extensive description than
Newcomb provides. Some historians will be critical of sections, entitled
"history" (p. 36), which describe the initial contacts between tribes and
people of European extraction; the reviewer is deeply disturbed to find
that information used in narratives about initial contacts along the Hispanic
borderlands has been taken from books by John R. Swanton, Carol O.
Sauer, and Angie Debo, and not from books by historians such as Herbert
Eugene Bolton and John Francis Bannon. These defects alone will mislead
general readers and students regarding the relative importance of the cul-
ture types, and about the purposes and policies which governed Indian-
European relationships in early modern history.
Despite several defects, Newcomb's book deserves high praise. It is nicely
written; it achieves the general purpose outlined in the title; it is one of
the best summaries of information about North American Indian anthro-
pology ever published in one volume. The reviewer recommends it to gen-
eral readers, and even more to teachers and professors in search of supple-
mentary reading for high school and college classes on history, anthropology,
native American studies, sociology, and race relations.
The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains, which Professor Holder has writ-
ten to describe "two native modes of life on the Great Plains-hoe farming
and hunting from horseback" (p. vii), and to show how "they fared in the
face of Europe's intrusion into the New World" (p. vii), makes a more
philosophical contribution to knowledge about Indian anthropology and
history. Ancient Indian horticulture on the Great Plains produced stable,
sedentary societies characterized by class stratification, elaborate religious
systems, and strong hereditary leadership. Early modern nomadic hunting
in the same geographic province produced more flexible societies in which
there existed social mobility, religious individualism, and leadership that
depended more upon personal success than upon bloodlines. Professor
Holder shows why the two types of societies were at odds with each other,
and how both were subjected to encroachment by European imperialists.
The sedentary horticulturists, who were more vulnerable than the nomadic
hunters, succumbed first, but in the long run the experiences of both were
the same. "Under the weight of European presence," all "native ways went
under. Only in marginal regions . . . was survival with any sort of inte-
gration possible" (p. 145).
The Hoe and the Horse underscores the fact that prehistoric Indian tribes
and confederations differed from each other, and frequently fought against
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/390/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.