Scientific racism and masculine recuperation: Charles Lummis and the search for "home".
A careful consideration of A Tramp Across the Continent allows us to appreciate not only the degree to which Lummis was in fact able to step "outside the sorry fences of society," but also in what ways his upbringing and education molded and constrained his thought and writing. I argue that Eurocentric standards of civilized domesticity and contemporary ethnographic trends played a critical role in shaping Lummis' assessment and comparative ranking of Mexican Americans and members of different American Indian tribes. Although Lummis often is referenced casually as an ethnographer and credited for his promotion of the U.S. Southwest, the specific ethnographic influences on Lummis' writings and his use of domestic space as a barometer of civilization have not received extended consideration. It is my contention that these two threads of Tramp (the ethnographic and the domestic)--and the relationship between them--function to uphold prevailing Anglo American assumptions of the period. Such an examination of Lummis' narrative will allow us to appreciate the interested and intentional nature of his observations, his claim to have stepped outside the influence of his own cultural milieu notwithstanding.
Tramp was among the first of several ethnographic works Lummis authored. Despite his lack of professional ethnographic training, he believed firsthand experience qualified him to contribute to this new scientific field (a field that was just gaining official academic status during the late nineteenth century) while educating a broad readership about a region largely unknown to residents of the Eastern United States. (2) In the preface to his 1891 A New Mexico David and Other Stories and Sketches of the Southwest, Lummis asserts that he was no "random tourist" but, as a result of deep acquaintance with the region and careful study, an expert in Southwestern histories and cultures (v). However, he did not position himself as an academic scholar but rather as a popular writer who aimed to educate readers about the Southwestern United States and to encourage their travel to the region. (3)
Lummis was just one of many writers to navigate the historically fluid disciplinary divide between literature and anthropology. Since the late nineteen-eighties, increasing academic attention has been given to the relationship between these fields. In her introduction to one of several such interdisciplinary collections published in the last two decades, Between Anthropology and Literature, Rose De Angelis overviews the essential ground shared by ethnographers and literary writers as follows:
Literary writers are ethnographers by virtue of the fact that they write stories about people and their sentiments, about places and happenings, and about contexts. Characteristically, the ethnographer participates, either overtly or covertly, in the daily lives of a group of people, watching, listening, and collecting data that will shed light on the observed subject or subjects. In literature, the writer/observer shares a piece of the other, and the overlapping pieces provide a window through which the reader may gain insights--social and cultural data--into particular cultures and societies. (3-4)
By recording his impressions of the peoples of the Southwestern United States, Lummis engages in the shared task of ethnographers and literary writers as De Angelis describes it. However, as I illustrate below, Lummis' blurring of this interdisciplinary boundary does not stop with mere observation and recording; in his particular approach to each activity he overtly draws upon both disciplines. Consequently, his descriptions of cultural Others are as notable for their literary features as for the ethnographic methodologies that underlie them. His work thus merits particular attention vis-a-vis this growing interdisciplinary discussion.
With his choice of genre, the travel narrative, Lummis stakes out a literary territory within the purview of both disciplines. As Mario Cesareo argues in "Anthropology and literature: Of bedfellows and illegitimate offspring," the closing chapter of De Angelis' collection,
ethnography is the result of writing under the particular conditions of travel. The very origins of anthropology are situated within, and are a result of, the practices of European transatlantic exploration, discovery, and colonization initiated in the late fifteenth century and later sustained by more modern forms of the same colonizing impetus during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. (162)
Indeed, the earliest form of ethnography is the travel narrative. As was the case for early anthropologists, Lummis' access to unfamiliar lands and cultures was made possible by colonization and was spurred by the curiosity of settlers eager to learn about newly acquired lands. The United States' acquisition of present-day California, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada was still relatively recent. (4) In light of the circumstances that enabled Lummis' tramp, the curiosities and anxieties of his readers, Lummis' experience as a journalist, and his ties to the anthropological community, it is not surprising that he would select a hybrid medium (the travel narrative) situated in the significantly overlapping territory shared by the two disciplines.
In order to appreciate the influence of ethnography on Lummis' work, it is important to be acquainted with contemporaneous trends in the field. As historian Philip Deloria argues, ethnography was at a transitional point during the late nineteenth century. Many of the debates underway in the field, with which Lummis no doubt was familiar, also were echoed in the public sphere. Ethnographers were moving away from the method used by foundational cultural evolutionist Lewis Henry Morgan (18181881), i.e., approaching Americans Indians as objects of investigation and attempting to record their supposedly disappearing cultures before they were forever lost. A new approach was gaining popularity that allowed ethnographers to play the role of participant-observer and learn about other cultures by living among them for sustained periods. Scientists previously had viewed Frank Cushing (1857-1900), one of Lummis' ethnographic role models, with suspicion for immersing himself so deeply in Zuni culture that he adopted their social customs and manner of dress, but such immersion was gaining credibility as Lummis emerged onto the scene.
This change in methodology was accompanied by an ideological shift from social Darwinism to cultural relativism. Franz Boas (1858-1942), frequently termed the father of both modern and American anthropology due to his endowment of the field with some of the rigorous methodology of the natural sciences, was one of the innovators of a more participatory approach and is considered one of the first great cultural relativists. He argued against the diachronic approach that characterized early anthropology and, instead, utilized a synchronic approach (which became commonplace in the field by the early twentieth century). Further, Boas objected to the European racial and cultural superiority he identified in evolutionist writing. (5) However, even as cultural relativism gained currency, racialist assumptions continued to guide interactions between many Anglo Americans and members of other cultural groups.
A Tramp Across the Continent reveals the influence that these various schools of thought had on Lummis. Although he prides himself on learning about other cultures firsthand and espouses a type of cultural relativism by suggesting that different cultural groups in the U.S. will benefit mutually from contact with one another, he also acts according to a more conventional ethnographic methodology. While he values his experiences among American Indians, he also approaches them as objects of study and aims to extract aspects of their cultures for export back to the "civilized" world. For example, he buys Navajo blankets and Acoma water jars to sell later for profit in Los Angeles, thereby feeding the public desire to access a more authentic form of culture through such artifacts. (6) In addition, Lummis feels no qualms about digging in ancient Puebloan ruins. After commenting on the quality of the cliff-dwellings' construction and determining that their inhabitants had been a Puebloan group, Lummis begins digging. He describes the cliff-dwellings as follows:
Many of them are still entire; and in them I dug, from under the dust of centuries, dried and shrunken corn-cobs, bits of pottery, an ancient basket of woven yucca fibre exactly such as is made to-day by the Pueblos of remote, cliff-perched Moqui, and a few arrow-heads and other stone implements. There are many hundreds of these long-forgotten ruins in that grim canon; and it well repays as long a visit as one can give it. (Tramp 240)
Lummis takes such a well-preserved site, ironically, as an invitation for exploration and looting (which is now, of course, illegal). He neither questions his right to do so nor considers leaving the sight intact. Further, he recommends to his readers that they too seek out similar ruins and collect what treasure they can. This is just one of many places in the book where Lummis' interest in boosting the Southwest as a tourist spot trumps the respect he claims to have for its peoples.
Lummis arguably crafted his travel narrative in such a fashion that readers in the Eastern United States could experience the West for the first time through his eyes. Public interest in ethnography, along with related antimodern sentiments, raised the profile of Lummis' writing--specifically his observations of other cultures--as did his distinctly masculine persona. It was widely held in the late nineteenth century (and into the twentieth) that members of non-Western cultures live in closer contact with the natural world than their Western, overly civilized, counterparts. As Gail Bederman and others have documented, many men experienced particular anxiety about the effects of urban living. They were concerned that an overly civilized existence was sapping their life force and stifling their essential masculine nature. In fact, it was during the eighteen-nineties that the term "overcivilized" came into common usage. (7) Thus, when Lummis emphasizes his physical preparedness for his journey, including his "perfect body," he plays upon these anxieties while endorsing the popular view that masculine strength can be regenerated by stepping into nature and dabbling in the lifestyles of supposedly less advanced peoples.
Traveling outside of modern, primarily Anglo American, cities to encounter members of other cultures was a way for ethnographers and tourists alike to allegedly "touch an authentic past by touching a contemporary Indian person" (Deloria 106). For men anxious about the effeminizing effects of urban life, the American Indian present often was seen as a vehicle for accessing a more virile, and thus more authentic, Anglo American past. Short of seeking out American Indians themselves, some joined the Red Men, a fraternal order that borrowed from American Indian traditions to engage in allegedly savage, masculine activities. (8) However, this predilection for cross-cultural contact (whether mediated or firsthand) should not be understood as indicating a belief in racial equality. To the contrary, it was widely held that the racial superiority of white men allowed them the freedom to look to allegedly less civilized peoples for methods of regenerating an essential masculinity while retaining a more restrained manliness appropriate to polite, sophisticated society. (9)
With Tramp (along with his later writings) Lummis provides such men vicarious access to the natural world and the cultural Others who presumably live in closer association with it. In this fashion Tramp again functions as both literature and ethnography. As De Angelis argues, literary writers and ethnographers alike offer "information to the reader/participant who acts as both subject and object as he or she reads the information presented and makes his or her own observations" (4). Because of the particular anxieties and desires of Lummis readership, along with his firsthand descriptions of his travels, Tramp, far more than most works of literature, invites readers to inhabit the text, envision the peoples and lands described there, and thus play as amateur ethnographers--with Lummis as their eyes and ears. Indeed, Lummis offers such vicarious ethnographic engagement as a vehicle for masculine rehabilitation as well. Like Lummis, Anglo American readers of Tramp can learn both about and from other cultures; by selectively emulating these cultures' perceived closeness to the natural world, readers may recover a more vital form of masculinity--as Lummis claims to do.
Lummis presents himself as uniquely equipped not only to rediscover a latent connection to the natural world, but also to learn how to do so from longtime residents of the Western United States: American Indians and Mexican Americans. Yet Lummis' claim that he is one of the rare Anglo Americans to free himself of racial prejudice (which he believes is an inborn trait), is belied by his implicit construction of hierarchies within and between cultural groups. He thus perpetuates the sort of hierarchical, racialized thinking common during his lifetime. Ultimately, Lummis' assessments of American Indians and Mexican Americans, and the U.S. laws that undermine these groups' land claims and systems of land management, suggest that he is not simply interested in speaking for these groups, but primarily aims to revitalize Anglo American culture by encouraging his readers to adopt select Mexican American and American Indian cultural practices. He clearly writes for Anglo Americans, as he frequently contrasts his observations of other cultural groups with the expectations and practices familiar to the distinctly Anglo American "we" of the book. In addition, he repeatedly counters Anglo American prejudices by noting the virtues of marginalized peoples. By presenting his capacity to overcome prejudice, he invites readers with cultural backgrounds similar to his own to follow his example. According to Lummis biographer, Mark Thompson,
While conventional notions of manifest destiny held that the Anglo-Saxon race was the rightful conqueror of the West, Lummis hoped that the American West might achieve a different sort of conquest of the white race. Lummis admired the entrepreneurial spirit of his New England forebears and believed Anglo-Saxons could teach other races something about achievement. But they were equally in need of a few lessons from other cultures about enjoying life. (181)
Of course, such a conception of an "equal" cross-cultural exchange can only be maintained if one ignores the extreme disparities in economic, social, and political power experienced by Anglo Americans versus other cultural groups in the United States during Lummis lifetime. Further, the particular nature of the reform Lummis hoped Anglo Americans could achieve through contact with inhabitants of the U.S. West reinforces popular stereotypes about these inhabitants, such as the broad view that Mexican Americans have relaxed, or even lazy, lifestyles. At the same time, his focus on his Anglo American readership influences his representations of American Indians and Mexican Americans, whom he accordingly evaluates on the basis of the degree to which they manifest qualities Anglo Americans value, including cleanliness, farming, settled (non-migratory) lifestyles, and, particularly, the form and use of their domestic space. Although Lummis sees American Indians and Mexican Americans as living closer to nature than Anglo Americans in the overly civilized East, and therefore--in this regard--presents these groups as models for Anglo Americans, he is not willing to abandon wholesale his own cultural norms.
In focusing on domestic space as the prime indicator of the sophistication of a people, Lummis was not alone. The industrialization of the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries engendered a growing, distinctly gendered, rupture between the domestic sphere and the outside world. In fact, it was a point of pride for many men if their wives did not have to work outside the home. (10) The ability to support one's family and finance a refined, distinctly feminine, domestic space was a particularly valued indicator of a man's wealth and social status. Further, it was widely held during this period that civilized societies were defined by their degree of gender separation; thus, in keeping with this ideology, many Anglo American men viewed themselves as being on the forefront of advancing the white race. (11)
Key to Lummis' ability to see himself as having transcended racial prejudice was the fact that his racialized assumptions could be masked easily as objective truth, rather than prejudice, because they drew upon popular scientific theories of the time. Although, as I have indicated, shifts were underway in the anthropological world, dominant scientific trends during this period propelled the codification of a racial hierarchy that positioned people of European descent as superior to other racial groups, each of whom were comparatively ranked on a scale from savage to civilized. Drawing on Linnaean taxonomy, as well as Darwin's theory of evolution, many scientists during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries posited different human species, divided along racial lines. They argued that each race's characteristics, such as intelligence and personality traits, could be determined through a series of physical measurements, including skull size and capacity, facial angle, height, and posture. Theories of biological determinism became popular not only within scientific circles, but also were embraced by much of the general public. According to historian John Haller, popular science of the late nineteenth century
provided a vocabulary and a set of concepts which rationalized and helped to justify the value system upon which the idea of racial inferiority rested in American thought. [...] For many educated Americans who shunned the stigma of racial prejudice, science became an instrument which 'verified' the presumptive inferiority of the Negro and rationalized the politics of disenfranchisement and segregation into a social-scientific terminology that satisfied the troubled conscience of the middle class, (x)
Scientific discourse excused social inequalities by naturalizing them, not just in regard to African Americans, but all non-Anglo Saxon peoples.
Lummis' internalization of this racialized science is evinced by his ranking of members of different cultural groups whom he encounters along his tramp. While he believed that he and other Anglo Americans could learn from the American Indians and Mexican American inhabitants of the Western United States, he nonetheless operated according to a basic assumption of European and Euroamerican superiority to other cultural groups, whom he evaluated according to decidedly Eurocentric standards. Lummis' description of the first American Indians he encounters on his journey, the Pueblo Indians at San Ildefonso, offers insight into the interpretive framework and expectations Lummis carries west with him. One of the most striking aspects of the following passage is how central Pueblo homes are to his assessment of the people who inhabit them:
[I]t filled me with astonishment to find Indians who dwelt in excellent houses, with comfortable furniture and clean beds, and clothing and food; Indians who were as industrious as any class in the country, and tilled pretty farms, and had churches of their own building, and who learned none of these things from us. (Tramp 93-94)
Lummis not only is shocked by the quality of their houses and overall cleanliness, but voices approval for their agricultural lifestyle--something that Anglo Americans had long sought to persuade American Indians to adopt. (12) His description of Pueblo homes as "excellent" invites consideration of his criteria for excellence. Although he does not elaborate, it is likely that Lummis is favorably impressed, as many European and Euroamerican travelers historically have been, by the Pueblos' multistoried adobe structures. The Pueblo tribes' industry, cleanliness, and home structures (comparatively analogous to European styles) have caused many such travelers to see the Pueblos as among the most civilized of American Indian tribes.
While Lummis disavows any Anglo American influence on Pueblo industriousness, he does not credit the Pueblo people with originating their lifestyle. He instead credits the Spanish with transforming the Pueblo tribes from warlike savages to peaceful farmers:
The old church and its ruined convent--monuments to the zeal of the heroic Spanish missionaries--doze at the western end of the square, forgetful of the bloody scenes they have witnessed. Here the first pioneers of Christianity were poisoned by their savage flock; and here in the red Pueblo Rebellion of 1680 three later priests were roasted in the burning church. But all that is past. To-day the Indians are peaceful, well-to-do, happy farmers, with broad fields of corn and wheat, watermelons, and squashes reaching along the river, and little fruit orchards about their quiet town; members of the church. (94)
Lummis seems to exonerate the Pueblo Indians for their rebellion against the Spanish by separating this historical event from the contemporary realities of peaceful and industrious Pueblo communities. He makes no mention of the reasons why the historically peaceful Pueblo tribes organized their revolt in the first place--namely, eighty years of occupation, religious suppression, forced conversions, and the repartimiento system. In accordance with the repartimiento system, the Pueblo Indians were forced to provide the Spaniards with set amounts of food; when food was scarce, they were required to perform menial tasks for Spanish households. (13) Through omission Lummis denies that there was just cause for the Pueblo Revolt. He narrates Pueblo history as a journey from savagery to civilization, all to the credit of zealous and heroic Spanish missionaries--which he punctuates with references to the church. The church the Spanish fought to erect stands, presumably without objection, and the larger goal of conversion has been achieved--which Lummis indicates by referring to contemporary Pueblo people as "members of the church."
Whereas the Pueblo people were a "savage flock" prior to Spanish influence, they have become peaceful, successful, and happy farmers. Lummis implicitly attributes farming, a traditional aspect of Pueblo culture, to Spanish influence and denigrates the Pueblo Indians' attempts to preserve their sovereignty by ousting Spanish missionaries who forced them to work and convert to Catholicism. Lummis does not account for the fact that the Pueblo Indians were farmers long before the arrival of the Spaniards and constructed complex systems of irrigation canals. (14) Rather than seeing the Pueblo Indians as originators of admirable lifestyles and cultures, Lummis presents them as examples of Indians' capacity for being civilized by others. We might excuse Lummis for potentially being unaware of these fundamental aspects of Pueblo history were it not for his claims of expertise in the subject--an expertise he attributes to contact with the Pueblo people.
This is just one of many places throughout Tramp where he downplays British and French cultural influences and instead upholds Spaniards as the primary civilizers of the Americas--with the aim of balancing the historical record and counteracting the Black Legend of Spanish colonization (according to which the Spanish were bloodthirsty conquerors and the British benevolent settlers). The Black Legend is just one mechanism Anglo Americans have used to denigrate Spanish contributions to the settlement of the Americas and to advance the narrative that the United States was born of the work of predominately British settlers and their descendants. Thus, with his counternarrative, Lummis subverts the supremacy of his own people on the hierarchy of civilization but, at the same time, reinforces the notion that such a hierarchy exits. Lummis also references Spanish history throughout Tramp as a means of bolstering his efforts on behalf of American Indians. For example, he suggests: "If we ever reach as humane and honorable an Indian policy as Spain has maintained firmly for three hundred and fifty years, it will be a most creditable national achievement" (95). Throughout his life he echoed this remark and, in so doing, continued to reference cultural Others in the interest of reforming the policies of his own nation.
Although Lummis exalts the Pueblos as exemplary Indians who benefited from Spanish colonization and clearly privileges them over the Navajos (as I illustrate below), he still ranks them as decidedly inferior to Anglo Americans. For example, his description of an Acoma Pueblo man, Faustino, reveals that Lummis circumscribes the types of activities of which even the most civilized Indians are capable. He writes:
I doubt if there was ever carved a manlier frame than Faustino's; and certain it is that there never was a face nearer the ideal Mars. A grand, massive head, outlined in strength rather than delicacy; great, rugged features, yet superbly moulded withal--an eye like a lions, nose and forehead full of character, and a jaw which was massive but not brutal, calm but inexorable as fate. I have never seen a finer face--for a man whose trade is war, that is. Of course, it would hardly fit a professors shoulders. But it will always stand out in my memory with but two or three others--the most remarkable types I have encountered. (166)
This is just one place, among many, where Lummis elevates a non-Anglo American for his manliness. By emphasizing this quality in allegedly less civilized peoples, Lummis again echoes popular antimodern sentiments, according to which an excess of civilization physically weakens or feminizes Anglo American men. Faustino, by contrast, has a "massive head, outlined in strength rather than delicacy." With this description of Faustino, Lummis invokes a fundamental antimodern binary (that is, strength versus delicacy) and positions Faustino in opposition to his overly civilized Anglo American counterparts. It is also significant that, of the two Roman deities associated with war, Lummis likens Faustino to Mars (whose brutishness is contrasted frequently with Minerva's wisdom under similar circumstances). In addition, despite his pretensions to having overcome racial prejudice, Lummis deploys the language of biological determinism by characterizing Faustino as physiologically suited to war but not scholarship. He thereby reveals his continued racial bias. Lummis does, however, reverse the traditional methodology of craniometrists, who linked the largeness of one's skull size to the degree of intellectual capability, (15) but he nonetheless retains the logic of such biological determinism by reading Faustino's professional capabilities in his physical features. These sorts of mental acrobatics on Lummis' part are not dissimilar to those employed by his contemporaries in the scientific community who--consciously or not--skewed their findings to fit their racial theories. (16)
Lummis ultimately classifies Faustino's as one of three remarkable heads he has seen during his life of traveling. This statement, given within the context of a travel narrative and by a man who based his career on his experiences with regions and peoples unfamiliar to most Anglo Americans, has an ethnographic feel. In other words, Lummis collects impressions of unusual physical features--presented as otherworldly through comparisons to the mythological Mars--to offer his readers for their voyeuristic consumption. Lummis goes so far as to dismember Faustino by separating his head from his body, describing its features, and imaging it as a poor attachment to a professor's shoulders, thereby committing a type of linguistic violence through imaginative vivisection.
Whereas the Pueblos' agricultural lifestyle and neat houses earn them approval, the Navajo tribe does not fair as well in Lummis' estimation. He pejoratively characterizes them as nomads and describes them as "among the most savage aborigines of the West" (212). Lummis writes:
Their reservation [...] is a huge wilderness without towns or houses, but dotted here and there with their little corn-patches and rude, lone hogans--temporary tent-shaped huts of logs and earth. They are absolute nomads, and never stay long in one hogan--and will never enter it again when death has once been in it. (213)
With a decidedly Anglo American eye, Lummis takes a surface look at the reservation and determines that the Navajo people are far inferior to those he refers to as their "Pueblo neighbors." He characterizes hogans as "rude," improper dwelling spaces and does not recognize their "little corn patches" as farming--an industry he otherwise admires. Moreover, he overlooks the practicality of moving between different parts of the reservation according to the seasons, crop cycles, and the needs of a sheep herding culture.
Lummis does not mention that, historically, agriculture was a critical part of Navajo subsistence. It was only after the Long Walk of 1864, one of the most tragic events in Navajo history, that the Navajo reduced their dependence on agriculture and focused more on raising sheep and cattle. (17) In order to force the Navajo to surrender and remove from their homelands, Colonel Kit Carson ordered that their fields be destroyed. The Navajo were forced to walk to Fort Sumner, based on (heavily disputed) accusations of warring with other tribes in the region, including the Pueblos. At Fort Sumner, the Navajo suffered from dysentery (as a result of poor water quality), starvation, illness (due to being unaccustomed to the rations they were given to eat), the spread of disease, and attacks from surrounding tribes. Interestingly, in light of Lummis' comparative assessment of Navajo and Pueblo housing, one of the government's goals in holding Navajos at Fort Sumner was to "remold them into Pueblo dwellers"--a clear indication of the value placed on domestic life in the dominant Anglo American culture. (18) When the Navajo were finally released and allowed to return home (primarily due to growing criticism from the U.S. public and military over the conditions there), the U.S. government provided them with sheep and cattle for subsistence. In this manner the U.S. government initiated the Navajo tribe's transition from a more settled, agricultural lifestyle to one that required movement across broad swaths of land.
In sharp contrast to his estimation of the Pueblos' houses, Lummis refers to hogans as temporary and tent-like. Hogans do not seem to qualify as legitimate dwelling places to him, in large part because they are not inhabited constantly and are not shaped like traditional Anglo American houses. While historically the Navajo tribe did travel from region to region in search of food, once they settled in their current homeland in the Southwest, between 1450 and 1525 C.E., they developed a more stationary lifestyle. (19) This shift in lifestyle was engendered, in part, by Navajo contact with Pueblo tribes (whose ancestors settled in the Southwest as early as 10,000 B.C.E.). (20) Contrary to Lummis' simplistic characterization of the Navajo as "absolute nomads," by the time Lummis encountered them, the Navajo built their hogans to serve as long-term dwellings but continued to move seasonally to different regions within their Southwest homeland, usually in the interest of sheepherding. In addition, whereas he describes Puebloan customs as "quaint and often astonishing" (142), his reference to Navajo customs surrounding death is dismissive and condescending. At best, Lummis is simply unaware of certain historical and cultural facts and commits an error of hubris in authoritatively offering his comparative observations of the Pueblo and Navajo tribes; at worst, he manipulates history and his own observations to fit the narrative he wishes to craft--a narrative that reinforces Anglo American values. In either case, Lummis, despite himself, illustrates the difficulties of achieving the goal of disinterested and objective ethnographic observation.
We can discern in Lummis' ambivalent treatment of American Indians the influence of writers who shaped his preconceptions of them. As a boy he read works by novelist Mayne Reid, who depicted Indians as dangerous savages nonetheless capable of being civilized, and later by anthropologist Frank Cushing, who viewed some Indians, like the Zunis, as what he termed "romantic savages," but others, like the Apaches, as "warlike savages" (Thompson 31). Lummis was thus predisposed, both by his reading and the age-old idea of the noble savage, to view some Indians favorably and others with great prejudice. He makes casual mentions of hostile savages, like the Utes, who scalp Anglo miners, and only pages later proclaims the Pueblo Indians to be simple and peaceful people. However, like Reid, Lummis broke with popular opinion by fervently asserting Indians' ability to become civilized. At the time, most Anglo Americans believed that Indians were destined for extinction--a belief that has been described as the myth of the Vanishing Indian. (21)
Lummis also approaches Mexican Americans with ambivalence--an ambivalence that derives from his dual treatment of them as objects of study and as living peoples with admirable cultural traditions and worldviews. There are, nonetheless, significant distinctions between his treatment of Mexican Americans versus American Indians that can be attributed to the culturally specific lens through which he sees each group and his apparent belief that Mexican Americans possess a greater degree of civilization than American Indians, as I will illustrate below. Constants in his evaluations of these groups include the influence of racist trends in evolutionary science and his use of domestic space as a measure of civilization. Further, at the core of Lummis' observations remains Lummis himself, model Anglo American adventurer. He continues to echo his contention that racial prejudice can be overcome only through firsthand contact between cultural groups. He describes his first encounter with Mexican Americans as follows:
[W]e stepped into a civilization that was then new to me--that of the swarthy Mexicans and their quaint adobe houses, with regiments of mongrel curs and flocks of silken-haired Angora goats. I was very suspicious of the people,--a foolishness which long subsequent dwelling among them removed." (Tramp 74)
Once more, in offering his first impression of a cultural group, he singles out the style of houses in which its people live. And, again, a favorable impression of the houses shortly yields a favorable impression of the people. Indeed, Mexican homes and hospitality are the pivotal factors that lead Lummis to overcome, to some extent, his prejudice toward Mexican Americans. He writes, "With pleasant stops at here and there a hospitable Mexican house--for I was losing my imbecile suspicions--we came at last to Espanola" (92).
Lummis becomes increasingly appreciative of such hospitality--and more critical of Anglo Americans--as he travels farther west. During the first half of his journey, he seeks out former Chillicotheans who had relocated in the West and who readily open their doors to him. As he continues his journey, however, he stops in increasingly rural regions where Anglo Americans begin to look on him with hostility and suspicion, perhaps in part because of his unconventional attire and his general unkemptness, which resulted from his many days of walking and frequently sleeping outdoors. The fact that Mexican Americans always open their doors to him and provide him with good meals wins him over and affords him a new reflexive standard for evaluating members of his own cultural group. Speaking of one Mexican American couple, Lummis writes, "Their hospitality was not for sale--it was from the heart, as with all of their kindly race" (202). Lummis' antimodern sensibilities surface in his praise of Mexican Americans. He suggests that, unlike more allegedly civilized people, Mexican Americans do not put on false pretences or act courteously in conformity to social norms, but act out of a natural, inborn impulse for kindness toward others.
Although Lummis' opinion of Mexican Americans steadily improves (yielding more self-congratulatory statements about his ability to transcend prejudice), his representations of them remain deeply ambivalent. This ambivalence can be discerned in his characterization of the first Mexican family with whom he stays: the Chavezes, a wealthy, landowning family. Significantly, he does not have such a favorable impression of the poor and working class Mexican Americans he encounters before meeting the Chavezes, but he goes on to claim that his experience with the Chavez family ultimately enables him to overcome his residual prejudices toward Mexican Americans as a whole.
For Lummis, the Chavezes represent the best of Mexican hospitality and, more broadly, an ideal of home and family. They also represent the height of the Spanish influence he believes Mexican Americans perpetuate in the United States. He privileges what he sees as their simplicity over the artifices of civilization, as well as their preservation of the hierarchical social system instilled in the Southwest by the Spanish. Lummis, like many Anglo Americans, viewed elite Mexican Americans as vestiges of an earlier, simpler social order that was lamentably passing. Lummis' description of the Chavez household illuminates the relationship between his antimodernism, his admiration for Mexican culture, and his implicit belief in social hierarchies:
The home-life of the lovable Mexican family with whom I spent those stormy but happy four days interested me greatly. The large, roomy, comfortably appointed adobe house was as unlike a New England homestead as possible in all but one thing--that it was home; and home not only for its people, but for their guests. (182-3)
Lummis' ethnographic gaze emerges in his appraisal of this Mexican American family; the combination of unfamiliarity and attraction compel him to reside with the family while methodically recording what he sees and experiences. Here we see that even as Lummis plays the role of participant/insider (in keeping with newer ethnographic methodologies), a certain degree of observer/outsider status is inherent in the ethnographer's mandate to study and record. Moreover, cultural difference mitigates the degree to which Lummis (or any ethnographer among members of another culture) can really function as an insider. Indeed, it is his difference that forms the basis of his (notably comparative) observations--and housing is, again, central to his appraisal. In this case, even though the adobe house is unlike the houses to which he is accustomed, it provides him with a feeling of "home," a word he emphasizes with italics. This feeling of home carries him deeper into the Chavez family, whereas Navajo hogans, which he deems tent-like and temporary, neither compel him to look at them more closely nor, more importantly, to spend much time among the Navajo people. Lummis continues his description of the Chavez home as follows:
The beds, covered with priceless Navajo blankets, were scrupulously neat; and so was everything else in the domestic economy. The food, though still new to me, was abundant and very good. The usual bill of fare included stews of mutton with rice, beef roasted in delicious cubes, beef shredded and stewed with the quenchless but delightful chile, frijoles (the brown beans of the Southwest) cooked as only a Mexican can cook them; white and graham bread of home-made flour not robbed of its nutrition by roller processes, and baked in little "shortened" cakes called galletitas; wine, perfect coffee, and canned fruits. All the baking was done in the big adobe beehives of ovens in the courtyard; the other cooking upon the kitchen stove. A dozen ever-amiable servants kept all the affairs of the extensive household in excellent shape. The large scale housekeeping at such a hacienda may be inferred from the one item of coffee, of which 2500 pounds was consumed there yearly. (183)
In this manner, Lummis provides a rather detailed account of the Chaveses domestic economy. He emphasizes the abundance of the food, its meticulous preparation and wholesomeness (as compared with processed foods), and the overall order that governs food production--each of which conforms to his standards for a clean and productive household. Not only does Lummis paint an attractive picture, but he also alludes to the social hierarchy that underlies the Chaveses' domestic system. The labor of American Indians is present through the Navajo blankets (which were expensive trade items by this time) that adorn the "scrupulously neat" beds. Interestingly, the products of Navajo labor are fit for decorating a Mexican American bed, but Navajo houses do not invite curiosity or detailed description for Lummis, only disdain. Ultimately "amiable servants" are responsible for running the Chaveses' domestic economy. Lummis does not specify the cultural background of these presumably Indian or mestizo servants; he only notes their apparent contentment with serving the Chavezes. (22) Lummis thereby naturalizes the social hierarchy of the Chavez household (a social hierarchy in which race and class clearly intertwine). By featuring in his book a wealthy Mexican American family like the Chavezes, who identify with their Spanish ancestry, Lummis defers to popular racial biases according to which a European heritage was superior to an indigenous American one.
While A Tramp Across the Continent provides critical insights into foundational assumptions and concerns that continued to characterize Lummis' later novels, political activism, and social interventions, (23) it is nonetheless among his first significant literary works and captures his early interactions with and thoughts about Mexican Americans and American Indians. Consequently, I approach Tramp as a starting point for assessing Lummis' social views and as a reference point for evaluating the ways his views did and did not develop over time. Lummis' later political activism on behalf of American Indians and Mexican Americans also merits consideration along these lines. As I will illustrate below, domestic life and certain ethnographic assumptions continued to shape his thought and action.
It was the very aspect of Mexican American life Lummis most admired (home and family life) that prompted a key portion of Lummis' Indian rights activism, namely his objections to an institution founded on a Eurocentric, racially hierarchical ideology: federal Indian boarding schools. Significantly for our purposes, his strong belief in the importance of family life ultimately trumped his ethnographic curiosity. However, when he wrote Tramp he deemed Indian schools sites of "interesting ethnographic study" (103). In the narrative he quickly acknowledges, but then brushes aside, objections to forced education and reveals his ethnographic interest in studying the effects of assimilationist experiments on American Indians: "Whatever thoughtful people may think as to our justification in forcibly taking these citizens of the United States (for all Pueblo Indians are citizens) away from their homes to be given an alleged education, the processes are instructive and full of interest" (103). He seems to validate objections to forced Indian education by ascribing them to "thoughtful people" and by undercutting the value of the instruction in these schools by referring to the "alleged education" the Pueblo children receive. However, he dismisses Puebloan methods of education out of hand, without describing these methods or explaining what makes them ineffectual. According to Laguna Pueblo writer Paula Gunn Allen, American Indians, including the Pueblo Indians, traditionally educated their children by
sharing appropriate items from the oral tradition, and by helping and encouraging children in tribally approved endeavors that are matched to individual inclinations but that will provide useful skills, understandings, and abilities for the good of the entire group. The young person is trained in a number of ways, formal and informal, and by a number of individuals in the tribe. Traditionally, female children (or female surrogates) are trained by women, while male children (or male surrogates) are trained by men in learning their ritual roles within their social system. (206)
This educational method is designed to prepare children for life within their tribal communities, as it emphasizes information appropriate to the oral tradition and skills deemed useful in the context of communitarian societies. Indian boarding schools, by contrast, were designed to separate students from their (allegedly savage) cultures and communities and prepare them to assimilate into the (presumably civilized) Anglo American mainstream of the United States; therefore, the sorts of educational methods Allen describes were antithetical to the intended function of boarding schools. (24)
Regardless of his minor concessions to objections leveled against forced Indian education, Lummis expresses a keen interest in the results of this "ethnographic study" by going on to transcribe letters written by Pueblo students that demonstrate varying degrees of proficiency in English language literacy. Further, he gives the project of forced Indian education some credibility by invalidating Puebloan methods of education and denigrating the innate intellect of Pueblo children: "You must remember that up to the time of going to school these swart pupils have none of that help from heredity which is such an advantage to our children--who are already half-educated before they begin to be educated at all" (Tramp 103-104). Lummis again ranks American Indians below Anglo Americans in terms of their intellectual capabilities. In addition, despite his desire to get to know people of other cultures, by referring to "our children" he draws a sharp distinction between himself (along with his presumably Anglo American readers) and American Indians.
However, Lummis' view of Indian schools evolved over the course of his lifetime, particularly upon further acquaintance with American Indians--arguably a validation of his contention that racial prejudice can be counteracted by spending time among members of other cultural groups. In 1888, following a paralytic stroke, Lummis moved to New Mexico. He stayed with the Chavez family (this time for four years) before moving to Isleta Pueblo, where he rented a house on the Abieta family compound. According to historian Sherry Smith, during this period Lummis came to reevaluate federal Indian policy, particular regarding education:
He observed Indian young people who returned to their communities with skills irrelevant to reservation life. He witnessed healthy young Pueblos "turned into consumptives by being transported to unfriendly climates and forced into alien ways." He realized that teachers violated the children's dignity and self-respect by stripping them of their Indian names and cutting their hair with sheep sheers. (126-127)
When three of the Abieta children were shipped off to boarding school, Lummis obtained legal counsel to assist their father in regaining parental custody. Lummis, along with a group of Pueblo Indians, went on to bring home thirty-seven other children (127). Indian education reform became a subject of Lummis' future writings, which centered on his firm belief in the cruelty of separating children from their families. Lummis recommended that Indian children be educated within their own communities. He also objected to curricula that had no practical use on the reservation. As Smith notes, Lummis believed that what "Indians needed most was to learn to read and write English, mostly to protect themselves from voracious whites who continued to covet Indian lands" (135). He thought Indian children should learn that whites are generally decent, that most whites would not wish to turn children against their parents, "and that we really respect a home." (25) Smith explains that "Home was especially important to Lummis. His complaint about boarding schools focused not so much on their destruction of valuable cultures, but rather on valuable human ties, on families" (135). Our present discussion of domestic space in Tramp allows us a broader context for appreciating the enduring value of home life for Lummis. Indeed, it comes as no surprise that the writer of Tramp would later isolate the home as a space that merits particular protection. Of course, we also know that the premium Lummis places on domestic space does not always accrue to the benefit of American Indian peoples and that affirmation of the value American Indians place on family--particularly given that this was a value shared by Anglo Americans during this period--should not be mistaken as a blanket defense of American Indian traditions.
One might expect that, given his more favorable representations of Mexican Americans throughout Tramp, Lummis would have been equally (if not more) engaged in activism on their behalf than he was on behalf of American Indians. In Tramp he decries the U.S. government's failure to live up to its obligations under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (which ended the Mexican American War and resulted in the transfer of nearly half of Mexican territory to the United States). He was aware of the fact that, despite the U.S. government's agreement to protect the rights and land claims of Mexicans in newly acquired regions of the United States, Mexican Americans were being defrauded of their lands. After signing the treaty, United States government officials passed a series of laws that made it increasingly difficult for Mexicans, now living in the U.S., to retain their lands. The Land Law of 1851, for example, stipulated that all Mexican land claims be reviewed and required Mexican landowners to prove the legality of their claims. During the often lengthy and expensive legal process, Mexican lands were considered part of the public domain and, as such, were open to settlement under the Homestead Act of 1862. Mexican landowners were forced to combat squatters and, due to escalating legal expenses, often had little choice but to sell their cattle and mortgage their lands. (26)
In Tramp, Lummis only twice refers the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The first time he notes that, according to the treaty, the Pueblo Indians' status as citizens under Mexican rule should have been retained when they became residents of the United States (94). Yet, he makes no mention of the impact treaty violations have had on Mexican Americans. He later defends the land grants Mexican Americans received from the Spanish and Mexican governments, and protests against the cooptation of these lands by Anglo American settlers and Anglo American-run corporations (118). He writes, "Nothing has been done to settle the question of land titles in the Southwest--a very simple matter, requiring only an investigation to prove what grants are fraudulent and should therefore be thrown out, and what are real and should stand" (118-9). He goes on to note, with relief, that such legislation has been passed. Yet very few Mexican American land grants were deemed legal by U.S. state and federal courts. To the contrary, subjecting Mexican American land titles to legal review was primarily a pretext for dispossessing Mexican Americans of their lands.
In the final analysis, Lummis' admiration for Mexican American culture did not translate into a belief that Mexican Americans' way of life could be preserved within the United States. He maintained that their culture was destined to disappear in the face of Anglo American settlement in the West and under the influence of U.S. culture and policies. Although he frequently implored his friend, President Theodore Roosevelt, to abandon assimilationist American Indian policies and believed American Indians could sustain some degree of cultural autonomy as citizens of the United States, he arguably shared some of Roosevelt's social Darwinism when it came to Mexican Americans. (27) It seems that Lummis' high estimation of Spanish culture and the social order maintained under Spanish and Mexican rule caused him to believe that, having been supplanted by Anglo Americans as the dominant class, there was no lasting place for Mexican Americans in the United States. His representations of Mexican Americans, therefore, do not serve a political purpose, despite his stated regret over their losses of land and political power. Rather, he invites his Anglo American readers to learn from Mexican American culture as a means of regenerating their own. Having accepted that Californios (people of Mexican descent born in California) themselves were rapidly losing their socioeconomic status and influence, Lummis dedicated himself to preserving aspects of their history and culture. Such preservation efforts were a central part of his larger effort to see to it that Southern California became a cultural center equal to such East Coast cities as Boston and New York. During his first year in Los Angeles, he planned a Spanish heritage fiesta. The fiesta was so popular that it was imitated throughout Southern California by real estate companies and the tourist industry. (28) In the context of this discussion, it is of particular significance that Lummis' eulogizing of Spanish and Mexican influence in the U.S. was also a key part of his home life.
In 1910, Lummis finished building a stone house (of his own design) in what was then a quiet part of Los Angeles (Highland Park) on the West bank of the Arroyo Seco. This home, which Lummis named El Alisal (the Alder Grove), was to accommodate not just his own immediate family but also to serve as a showcase for American Indian crafts and Spanish and Mexican American traditional practices. Whereas Lummis' activism on behalf of American Indians took many overt political forms (e.g., lobbying the U.S. government for land and religious freedoms for American Indians), Lummis believed he best honored the Spanish history of North America by adopting the forms of hospitality, entertainment, and family life he associated with Mexican Americans and experienced first with the Chavez family. He also fought for the preservation of Spanish missions in Southern California and the representation of Spanish American history at the Southwest Museum (which he established in 1907). At frequent parties he hosted for local writers, artists, and politicians, Lummis (dressed in his characteristic Spanish-style corduroy suit, sombrero, and Navajo sash) often featured Spanish cuisine and dancing. He went so far as to adopt the name "Don Carlos" and to suggest that he was a better Californio than many he met because of their alleged failure to carry on Spanish traditions. (29) Here we see some of the most dangerous aspects of Lummis' reasoning. He feels free to appropriate aspects of another culture while excusing himself from advocacy for living members of that cultural group. He rationalizes this cultural appropriation and political inactivism based on his presumed authority to identify the most pure aspects of the culture and his assumption that Californios' loss of social and political status was irreparable. In the absence of Californios whom he recognized as such, he committed himself and his home to perpetuating those he viewed as their best traditions.
What Lummis fails to account for when proposing mutual betterment through cross-cultural contact is how asymmetrical relations of power between cultural groups engender unequal exchanges of ideas. He overlooks key dimensions of the contact zone, (30) seemingly as a consequence of his privileging of his own subject position. Lummis' narrative lacks the additional perspectives needed to appreciate the uneven dimensions of cross-cultural contact. As writer of the narrative and member of the dominant culture, Lummis pens the decisive interpretation of the cultural encounter, characterizes and defines the cultures and peoples he depicts, and benefits materially from both the U.S. acquisition of the West and the publication of his narrative. However, he neither acknowledges his subjectivity nor grapples with the limitations inherent in his chosen genre or methodology for offering readers access to other cultures. These are limitations ethnographers and travel writers alike have struggled with since the time Lummis was writing. As Cesareo notes, although the
presence of the Other as being-for-herself provokes a cataclysm in the travelers experience, [...] that perforation of the order of the Same will not effectively bring the Other into it. No negotiation with the Other is here enacted. The perforation of the order of the Same will be reelaborated, but from the ruins of his order. This is why in the discourse produced by that encounter, in literature as well as in ethnography, one does not find the native but the other: the phantasm, the relic, the remains of the cannibalized Other. (165)
Tramp substantiates Cesareo's claim about the nature of representation of the Other in both literary and ethnographic texts. Lummis' travel narrative, which plays across the boundaries of both genres and borrows from each, is more revealing of Lummis' worldview than the cultural Others he depicts. Lummis features select aspects of Southwestern history and culture--namely those that will assuage the antimodern anxieties and cultural curiosities of his Anglo American readers.
It seems that, for Lummis, the losses in land and social status that prior inhabitants of the Southwest experience upon Anglo American occupation and settlement, though regrettable, do not undercut the larger benefits of cultural contact. In other words, the cannibalization of the Other is a sad but necessary vehicle for the revitalization of the Anglo American mainstream. Of course this position is not surprising given Lummis' interest in reforming Anglo American society--members of which, in the West, acquire land and economic status while incorporating elements of other cultures as they wish (notably without the sort of coercion experienced by American Indians at federal boarding schools). Indeed, Lummis is credited with being one of the foremost writers to spur interest in the American West, propelling Anglo American tourism and settlement in the region--both of which facilitated the displacement of American Indians and Mexican Americans already living there. Ironically, by the end of his life, he decried the density of the Los Angeles population and the resulting pollution. It seems the world he left behind as a young man had finally caught-up with him. Nonetheless, El Alisal, the home he designed with concepts of family life, hospitality, and style culled from his time spent with the peoples of the U.S. Southwest, and which he crafted with care over the course of twelve years, still stands. Today, as headquarters for the Historical Society of Southern California (with a museum of Lummis' life and work, along with resources on the history and cultures of the region), El Alisal continues to serve the functions for which it was designed.
These considerations of the culturally specific biases that influenced Lummis' accounts of American Indian and Mexican American peoples should not cause us to understate or overlook his substantive work on Indian Rights reform, the sizable historical and cultural material he compiled on Southwestern and Spanish history in North America (along with his efforts to preserve that history in Southern California), or the significance of his efforts to educate the general public about cultures and regions of the United States previously unfamiliar to them. It is precisely because of Lummis' sincerity in these varied efforts that he merits careful study in the context of ongoing debates about ethnographic methodologies (particularly those concerning objectivity) and the nature of cross-cultural contact as shaped by disparities in social power. Further, his crafting of a travel narrative that functions at once as ethnographic study, adventure tale, and tourist tract speaks to the considerable territory shared by the literary and anthropological disciplines and, thus, the importance of continued interdisciplinary conversations along, and across, these lines.
Acuna, Rodolfo. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. New York: Harper Collins, 1988.
Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.
Allen, Paula Gunn. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.
Angelis, Rose De, Ed. Between Anthropology and Literature: Interdisciplinary Discourse. London 8; New York: Routledge, 2002.
Barnard, Alan. History and Theory in Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Bederman, Gail. Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.
Berkhofer, Robert F. The White Man's Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.
Carnes, Mark C. Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1989.
Carmean, Kelli. Spider Woman Walks This Land: Traditional Cultural Properties and the Navajo Nation. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press, 2002.
Cesareo, Mario. "Anthropology and literature: Of bedfellows and illegitimate offspring." Between Anthropology and Literature: Interdisciplinary Discourse. Ed. Rose De Angelis. London & New York: Routledge, 2002.
Deloria, Phillip. Playing Indian. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998.
Gordon, Dudley C. "Charles F. Lummis: Pioneer American Folklorist." Western Folklore. Vol. 28 No. 3 (Jul., 1969), pp. 175-181.
Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man. New York and London: W. W. Norton 8t Company, 1996.
Haller, John S. Jr. Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, 1859-1900. Urbana, Chicago, and London: University of Illinois Press, 1971.
Hayden, Dolores. The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities. Cambridge 8c London: The MIT Press, 1981.
Lears, T.J. Jackson. No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Lummis, Charles F. A Tramp Across the Continent. 1892. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.
--. A New Mexico David and Other Stories and Sketches of the Southwest. New York: Scribner's, 1891.
--. "In the Lion's Den." Out West, Vol. 12, No. 5 (April 1900), 319.
Ortiz, Alfonso, Ed. New Perspectives on the Pueblos. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972.
Pitt, Leonard. The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966.
Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.
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Smith, Sherry L. Reimagining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes, 1880-1940. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Thompson, Mark. American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2001.
Witherspoon, Gary. "Navajo Social Organization." The Encyclopedia of North American Indians. Ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, United States Printing Office, 1979.
Tereza M. Szeghi
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON
(1.) For a detailed discussion of antimodernism in the turn of the twentieth century United States, see Lears.
(2.) Although Lummis has been accused of loose association with facts due to the overtly self-reflexive and frequently cursory nature of his observations (e.g., Smith 129), he nonetheless was well connected with the anthropological community throughout his lifetime (see Gordon and Smith).
(3.) See Smith 129.
(4.) The United States acquired these lands from Mexico with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which officially ended the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848.
(5.) For more extensive discussion of the changes underway in the field of anthropology during this period, see Barnard 101.
(6.) American Character 143.
(7.) Bederman notes that the emergence of a new set of terms, in addition to "overcivilized," marked changing conceptions of and anxieties about masculinity: "During the 1890s, they coined the new epithets 'sissy,' 'pussy-foot,' 'cold feet' and 'stuffed shirt' to denote behavior which had once appeared self-possessed and manly but now seemed overcivilized and effeminate. [...] Most telling, however, was the increasing use of a relatively new noun to describe the essence of admirable manhood. This newly popular noun was 'masculinity'" (17).
(8.) For more information about the Red Men and other fraternal orders of the period see Carnes.
(9.) Bederman differentiates manliness from masculinity during this period as follows: "manly" had a moral dimension, encompassing the highest conceptions of what is noble or worthy in a man and was synonymous with honorable and high-minded--in short, it referred to all that the Victorian middle class admired in a man; "masculine," on the other hand, referred to all characteristics, good or bad, that all men had, and was most frequently used to differentiate between things pertaining to men and things pertaining to women--masculine had no moral dimension (18).
(10.) Hayden 13.
(11.) Bederman 25.
(12.) One of the alleged goals, espoused by federal agents and Indian reformers, of placing American Indians on reservations, was to train them in agriculture and thereby assist American Indians in becoming self-sustaining and, ultimately, no longer in need of federal assistance.
(13.) For a more extensive treatment of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, see Preucel.
(14.) For more information regarding Pueblo history and culture, see Ortiz.
(15.) For a more extensive discussion of craniometry and late nineteenth century theories of biological determinism, see Gould, chapter two.
(16.) See Gould.
(17.) See Witherspoon 530.
(18.) Roessel 519.
(19.) Navajo oral narratives place the Navajo in the Southwest much earlier than current archaeological evidence suggests. According to Carmean, "Oral narrative describes the Navajo as occupying the area during the same time that many Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) archaeological sites were still inhabited. In some instances Navajo oral narrative even refers to the initial construction of buildings at a specific site, for example Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, suggesting the Navajo were in the area well before the Anasazi left the region by 1300 A.D." (3-4). For a more detailed discussion of the migratory history of the Pueblo Indians and their ancestors, see Sando 207.
(20.) See Carmean 7.
(21.) The myth of the Vanishing Indian began with first contact between Europeans and American Indians and is still in circulation today. The myth refers to the broadly held belief, among European sojourners in the Americas, European settlers, and subsequent generations of Euroamericans, that American Indians were incapable of change and would inevitably die off in the face of an allegedly superior (European based) culture. Colonial powers and settlers used this assumption as a rationale for appropriating Indian lands and going to war with Indian tribes. For additional discussion of the myth and its role in American history, see Berkhofer and Deloria.
(22.) People of American Indian descent, whether full blood or mestizo, have historically occupied the lower tiers of the economic spectrum in the Southwest, beginning with Spanish colonization, followed by Mexican rule, and persisting throughout U.S. acquisition of the region. A wealthy family like the Chavezes, undoubtedly relied on this labor pool.
(23.) See Thompson.
(24.) For additional information on Indian boarding schools, see Adams.
(25.) "In the Lion's Den," Vol. 12, No. 5 (April 1900), 319.
(26.) Acuna 115.
(27.) For extended consideration of Theodore Roosevelt's views of racial superiority and competition, see Bederman chapter five.
(28.) See Pit 290.
(29.) See Thompson 273-4.
(30.) I use the term contact zone as Mary Louise Pratt defines it in Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation: "the space of colonial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict" (6).
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|Author:||Szeghi, Tereza M.|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2013|
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