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xiii Preface Unfinished Business: The 1935 Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology Expedition Given the grim economic depression of the 1930s, it is truly remarkable that the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sponsored two ethnographic field schools in the Southern Plains (Ewers 1992, x), an area typically overlooked by researchers favoring the indigenous cultures of the Southwest or the Northern and Central Plains. In 1933, the first field school, directed by Ralph Linton (University of Wisconsin), was conducted in southwestern Oklahoma among the Comanches, and the second field school, directed by Alexander Lesser (Columbia University ) in 1935, focused on the neighboring Kiowas. Both field schools compiled massive data resulting in a number of publications on these formerly nomadic Plains tribes (Hoebel 1941, 1960; Linton 1935; Wallace and Hoebel 1952; Mishkin 1940; Richardson 1940; Collier 1944), though the planned collaborative ethnographies never materialized (DeMallie and Ewers 2001, 37). Recently, the collective Comanche fieldnotes were compiled and edited by Thomas W. Kavanagh (2008), but the much more extensive Kiowa fieldnotes, which contain invaluable information about the prereservation-period horse and buffalo culture, remain largely unpublished.1 Due to budget cuts in 1935, the Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology was compelled to eliminate funding for archaeology, so that year fellowships were available to students only for the ethnographic field study among the Kiowas. Applications were due by April 5, and scholarship recipients were to be notified by director Jesse L. Nusbaum in early xiv PREFACE June. Successful candidates would receive round-trip transportation to the field site—Anadarko, Oklahoma—in addition to subsistence costs during the nine-week period.2 The Kiowa field party was one of the final Rockefeller Foundation–funded ethnographic field expeditions sponsored by the Laboratory of Anthropology.3 Alexander Lesser arrived in Anadarko on June 19 to establish “living quarters” for the students and then spent the next four days traveling “many hundreds of miles visiting the old men and women of the tribe and explaining our purposes and plans. Thus, informants and interpreters were available before the group assembled.”4 On June 24, 1935, five anthropology graduate students converged in Anadarko for their first official meeting with Professor Lesser: Donald Collier (University of Chicago ), R. Weston LaBarre (Yale University), Jane Richardson (University of California), William R. Bascom (University of Wisconsin), and Bernard Mishkin (Columbia University). By the time they departed on August 28, they had compiled over thirteen hundred pages of single-spaced fieldnotes derived from cross-interviewing thirty-five Kiowas employing as many as twelve interpreters.5 In his final report, Lesser noted that the students had gathered “ample, perhaps exceptional, material on Kiowa economics, political organization , authority, law, rank, kinship, family life, warfare, societies (men’s and women’s), religious conceptions, the vision complex, medicine men and sorcery, the Sun Dance, the Ten Medicine complex, cult movements, etc.”6 However, only three publications resulted from this extensive data base (Mishkin 1940; Richardson 1940; Collier 1944), so the bulk of the 1935 Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology Kiowa fieldnotes remain unpublished . Hence a wealth of information pertaining to nineteenth-century Kiowa culture is available in these materials, today housed in the National Anthropological Archives.7 Of special importance are the data pertaining to indigenous Kiowa belief systems, since there is scant literature covering indigenous Southern Plains religions. Significantly,the1935SantaFeLaboratoryofAnthropologyfieldschool provided the graduate students an opportunity to interview the survivors of the prereservation horse and buffalo culture, which ended abruptly in May 1875, after which the Kiowas were forced to reside within boundaries set forth by the October 1867 Medicine Lodge Treaty. Collecting PREFACE xv memory ethnographies typified early twentieth-century anthropological fieldwork, whose practitioners feared that indigenous lifeways and knowledge systems would disappear in a rapidly changing world. These eyewitness and first-generation reflections on the horse and buffalo days are undoubtedly the best materials available for reconstructing prereservation Kiowa beliefs and rituals. Concomitantly, Alice Marriott—the first woman to receive an anthropology degree from the University of Oklahoma—conducted ethnographic fieldwork with the Kiowas in the summers of 1935 and 1936 and maintained contact with her Kiowa friends until her death in 1992. Marriott ’s paid interpreter was Ioleta Hunt MacElhaney, daughter of George Hunt of Mountain View, Oklahoma, who served as Marriott’s principal informant (Marriott 1952, 54, 58; Marriott 1945, x). Hunt (Set-maun-te, or Bear Paw) spent his youth living with his uncle Tah-bone-mah, or I-see-o, who was an army scout for Fort Sill’s Indian...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781496201461
Related ISBN
9781496200532
MARC Record
OCLC
957655711
Pages
390
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-11
Language
English
Open Access
No
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