- Comanche Ethnography: Field Notes of E. Adamson Hoebel, Waldo R. Wedel, Gustav G. Carlson, and Robert H. Lowie (review)
- Southwestern Historical Quarterly
- Texas State Historical Association
- Volume 113, Number 2, October 2009
- pp. 280-281
- View Citation
- Additional Information
28oSouthwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober characterize Latino Pentecostals simply as recent Catholic converts and miss the ways in which many have long ago "grafted onto the larger evangelical world" and created a self-sufficient culture ( ? ) . Significandy, for Sánchez-Walsh, Pentecostalism "loosed [Latino Pentecostals ] from their ethnic moorings" by placing religious experience—as opposed to ethnicity or nationalism—at die center of an individual's identity (i). While Latino Pentecostals still "subdy view their edinicity as an important component to who diey are," their conversions have brought adherents closer to their AngloAmerican neighbors (i). It is this broader historical process of modernization and ambivalent acculturation diat form the backdrop for Sánchez-Walsh's final three chapters. She first discusses the history of the Victory Outreach missions in Los Angeles and participants' ministry among former convicts and drug addicts. While she offers a valuable summary of the origins and current characteristics of diis group, she also dedicates an entire chapter to the emerging youdi culture among second-generation believers—a youth culture closely in-tune to developments in popular culture as it "sacralizes" forms of secular entertainment and merchandising. Very similar processes characterize La Viña, the final group analyzed by the author. Sánchez-Walsh is at her best when she highlights the various historical tensions inherent in Latino Pentecostalism between tradition and innovation, and between religious identity and edinic identity. For the most part, her work succeeds as a very focused history and ethnography of the Mexican-American Pentecostalism in Southern California; it supplements recent histories that generally focus on Latino Pentecostalism in Latin America [see for example David Stoll's /5 Latin America Turning Protestant? (University of California Press, 1990)]. The degree to which her conclusions illuminate Latino Pentecostalism more generally, however, remains to be seen. Florida State UniversityJoseph Williams ComancL· Ethnography: Field Notes ofE. Adamson Hoebel, Waldo R Wedel, Gustav G. Carbon, and Robert H. Lowie. Compiled and edited by Thomas W. Kavanagh. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Pp. 572. Illustrations, appendixes , references, index. ISBN 9780803227644, $55.00 cloth.) Dr. Thomas W. Kavanagh has once again made a valuable contribution to Comanche scholarship with the publication of ComancL·Ethnography. In this nearly six-hundred page volume, Kavanagh edited and organized die edinographic information gadiered by the "field party" in 1933—a research team of five graduate students (including E. Hoebel and Waldo Wedel) headed by anthropologist Ralph Linton and sponsored by the Santa Fe Laboratory ofAnthropology. This research team collected cultural and historical information from roughly eighteen elder informants ofdie Comanche living in Lawton, Oklahoma, and dieir notes stand as one of the most important scholarly resources for understanding late nineteenthand early twentieth-century Comanche life. Although used for the completion of a number of historical and andiropological monographs on the Comanche, the 2oogBook Reviews281 notes themselves had not been published—until now. This work also reproduced die field notes of Robert Lowie, an andiropologist who visited die Comanche and collected ethnographic information in 1912. Twenty black and white photographs of Comanche individuals and ceremonies, and reproductions of pages from die actual field notes, lend visual depth to this detailed ethnography. In the appendices to this monograph, Kavanagh deconstructs some of die major works of Comanche anthropology, such as E. Adamson Hoebel's Political Organization and Law-Ways of tL· ComancL· Indians (ig4o), in an effort to tie Hoebel's specific (but poorly documented) ethnographic statements to specific informants interviewed by the field party of ig33· Appendices A, B, and C do diis successfully. Appendix D is an extensive glossary of Comanche terms used throughout the field notes. From a historiographical perspective, "Part Two" of ComancL· Ethnography is as enlightening about the processes of anthropological field work in the early twentiedi century as it was about the history and culture of the Comanche people. But make no mistake, the real value ofKavanagh's work is the rich ethnographic information provided by the field party's informants. The Comanche informants described a patrilocal, male-centered culture that revolved around hunting and warfare. Many ofthe informants spoke ofthis lost warrior culture with lamentation and longing. Surprisingly, as Kavanagh himself noted, the interviews lacked information about die raid and trade...