The author of The Desert, the book that made the American landscape accessible to the mainstream mind, was much less like his fellow environmental prophets John Muir and Henry David Thoreau than he would have had us believe. Van Dyke claimed to have wandered "alone on horseback for thousands of miles through the American Southwest and northern Mexico," as readers of The Desert—now in the millions since the book was published in 1901—were told. He did not. In The Secret Life of John C. Van Dyke, Teague and Wild unmask the desert saint with Van Dyke’s own recently discovered letters. These letters depict a privileged, patrician, and pampered member of the upper-class. His incriminating correspondence reveals that he saw most of the desert from plush railroad cars and grand hotel rooms. In the introduction, the editors clear up many misconceptions scholars currently hold about Van Dyke’s ecological principles, about his outdoorsmanship, and about his trip through the desert itself. As the centennial of the publication of The Desert approaches, this lively collection of letters helps set the record straight. The John C. Van Dyke unveiled in The Secret Life is a more varied character than we had supposed—still worthy of much admiration for his remarkable accomplishments, but still mysterious, and not the man we thought him to be.
The third book in Charles Bowden’s “accidental trilogy” that began with Blood Orchid and Blues for Cannibals, Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing attempts to resolve the overarching question: “How can a person live a moral life in a culture of death?” As humanity moves further into the twenty-first century, Bowden continues to interrogate our roles in creating the ravaged landscapes and accumulated death that still surround us, as well as his own childhood isolation, his lust for alcohol and women, and his waning hope for a future. We witness post-Katrina New Orleans and terrorist-bombed Bali; we encounter our shared actions with the animal world and the desirous need for consumption; we see the clash and erosion of our physical and figurative borders, the savagery of our own civilization. A man of his time and out of time, Bowden seeks acceptance and a will to endure what may lie ahead.
Now little recognized by their neighbors, Southern Paiutes once had homelands that included much of the vast Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert. From the Four Corners’ San Juan River to California’s lower Colorado, from Death Valley to Canyonlands, from Capitol Reef to the Grand Canyon, Paiutes lived in many small, widespread communities. They still do, but the communities are fewer, smaller, and mostly deprived of the lands and resources that sustained traditional lives.
To portray a people and the individuals who comprise it, William Logan Hebner and Michael L. Plyler relay Paiute voices and reveal Paiute faces, creating a space for them to tell their stories and stake claim to who they once were and now are.
Pithouses are the earliest identifiable domestic architecture in many areas of the world, and can provide insights into the origins of communities--a fundamental component of past and present societies. In this book, Lisa Young and Sarah Herr invite archaeologists to explore the development of communities using information from pithouse sites in the American Southwest.
Using regional and topical syntheses to investigate the formation of pithouse communities, contributors to this volume examine the complex relationship between the economic transition to agricultural dependence and the social changes associated with sedentism. They discover that during this transformation, peoples' relationship with the landscape changed in ways that affected their use of space, community organization, and cultural identity.
Employing various theoretical perspectives, these contributions analyze changes in pithouses, site layout, communal architecture, and settlement patterns to investigate the development of place-based communities. Chapters look at community formation strategies in populous regions like the northern San Juan Basin, the southern Colorado Plateau, Mimbres/southern Mogollon, and Hohokam Basin and Range and compare them with social structures in more sparsely populated regions like the northeast Hohokam peripheries, the Arizona Transition Zone, the Cibola region, southeast New Mexico, and the northern Rio Grande. The book also includes thematic discussions of panregional economic change, the complex relationship between house and household, and the demographic shifts accompanying the Neolithic Demographic Transition.
An essential book for students and archaeologists interested in the origins of communities, Southwestern Pithouse Communities is also an important comparative resource for scholars interested in social change during the transition to settled village life.
In late prehistory, the ancestors of the present-day Hopi in Arizona created a unique and spectacular painted pottery tradition referred to as Hopi Yellow Ware. This ceramic tradition, which includes Sikyatki Polychrome pottery, inspired Hopi potter Nampeyo’s revival pottery at the turn of the twentieth century.
How did such a unique and unprecedented painting style develop? The authors compiled a corpus of almost 2,000 images of Hopi Yellow Ware bowls from the Peabody Museum’s collection and other museums. Focusing their work on the exterior, glyphlike painted designs of these bowls, they found that the “glyphs” could be placed into sets and apparently acted as a kind of signature.
The authors argue that part-time specialists were engaged in making this pottery and that relatively few households manufactured Hopi Yellow Ware during the more than 300 years of its production.Extending the Peabody’s influential Awatovi project of the 1930s, Symbols in Clay calls into question deep-seated assumptions about pottery production and specialization in the precontact American Southwest.
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