Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991 Page: 23
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Reviewed by John Peterson
A Study of Pueblo Architecture
in Tusayan and
Victor Mindeleff, Smithsonian Institution Press,
The best "used and rare" bookstores are
retreats from the modern spume of
bookzak. Publishers today pump out a
steady stream of consumable print, with
much dross and little gold. But a collector's
bookshop is a sacred shrine where the
history of publishing is compressed into a
short sweet space. And there's no better
way to spend a lazy afternoon in autumn
than pouring over old dusty volumes of the
Bureau of American Ethnography (BAE)
ensconced on the highest, furthest shelves.
You have to handle their green bulk and
crack the covers open to read the contents.
The faded gold lettering on the cover
seldom lists the gold inside. There is the
rush of excitement at discovering an
original of one of the many classic
anthropological texts that the BAE
published during its heyday.
For those without the leisure or the luck
or the loose cash, the Smithsonian
Institution Press has provided an
alternative in their re-issue of the Classics
of Smithsonian Anthropology. One of the
latest additions to the series is Victor
Mindeleff's monumental study of pueblo
architecture. Victor and his younger
brother Cosmos plunged into the study of
Southwest anthropology at the ripe ages of
twenty-one and nineteen. The Southwest
was exotic, unknown country. Cushing
was established at Zuni pueblo, and was
soon to become a Bow Priest and War
Chief. John Wesley Powell was director of
the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian,
and the new field of ethnography
was flush with the excitement of discovery.
The Mindeleff brothers provided an
extraordinary firsthand document of
puebloan lifeways at the beginning of the
American settlement of the Southwest.
Detailed maps, field records, and collections
of material culture were accompanied
by notes on culture history and
mythology of the Hopi and Zuni peoples.
Photographic as well as line-drawing
documentation provided precise and
detailed data of architectural traditions
which, though influenced by Spanish
practices, nonetheless provided a direct
historical link with prehistoric puebloan
culture. As a source book for students of the
field or as an evocative treatment of
ancient Southwest traditions, this book
has earned a place among the Classics of
Cryin' for Daylight: A
Ranching Culture in the
Texas Coastal Bend
Louise S. O'Connor, Wexford Publishing, Austin,
Texas. Hardbound, $49.95.
This lavish local history is the product
of seven years of interviews, photographs,
and archival work by author O'Connor. It
is clearly a labor of love by a native whose
family and community participated in a
rural ranching lifeway with a deep and
multicultural history. The members of this
community-her family and other ranchers,
the cowhands, the cooks, the women,
the townspeople, and the "new generation"-all
speak for themselves in this
book. O'Connor weaves in commentary
from oral interviews with her own photographic
portraits and with historic photographs
culled from several collections.
Cryin' for Daylight captures a remarkable
vision of Coastal Bend ranching
life. Its historic record emerges from many
vantage points, each with their own
prejudices and obvious pride. The ranchers
bemoan the fading of the patron system,
and the coming of the labor unions and the
churches. And the cowhands themselves
express satisfaction with a system that
guaranteed them a feudal security. They all
equally complain about the intrusion of
modern American life into their selfcontained
and self-contented rural
lifestyle that had dominated the region for
over 150 years.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991, periodical, Winter 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45422/m1/23/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.