1. Ana-Ethnography and Tactics of Refusal
2. The Crescencio Set
3. Protecting Knowledge against Scientific Colonialism
This position is held by most Pueblo communities, including San Ildefonso, which have a long and fraught history with anthropology—a field that historically had a particular lust for seeking out and sharing esoteric information. As Simpson (2007, p. 69) writes, anthropology marks a colonial space of “knowing and contention with serious implications for Indigenous peoples”.People outside have the idea that knowledge should be shared. That’s what universities are built around. But at Zuni we don’t think that way. Some knowledge should be protected and not shared. There are things in Zuni you can know, and things you can’t. And there are certain people who deserve to be the keepers of that knowledge. It’s a privilege, and the rest of us respect them for that.43
4. Ethno-Archaeological Labor
5. Crescencio’s Tiles
Conflicts of Interest
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Alfredo Montoya sold paintings to outsiders at least as early as 1911, as will be discussed later in this paper. Montoya, Awa Tsireh, and Tonita Peña are among the painters who attended the San Ildefonso Day School. Students were encouraged to draw and paint images of Pueblo life by teachers Esther Hoyt (1900 to 1907) and Elizabeth Richards (1909 and after). The role school teachers played in fostering modern Pueblo painting has been well documented (Dunn 1968, pp. 201, 204–5; Tanner 1973, pp. 67, 84; Bernstein and Rushing 1995; Brody 1997, pp. 37–40, 82–83; McGeough 2009, pp. 17–41).
Elizabeth DeHuff encouraged a handful of students to paint ceremonial dances in early 1919 and first exhibited the paintings at the school’s library in early March 1919; see letter from Elizabeth DeHuff to her mother, 11 March 1919, Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Family Papers, 1883–1981 (MSS99), Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico (hereafter CSWR), box 10, folder 25. Hewett was taken with the show and opened an exhibition of the paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts on 29 March 1919; see (El Palacio 1919). The Museum of Fine Arts, which is part of the Museum of New Mexico, was dedicated in 1917.
Notably, first-generation painter Tonita Peña did not work for Hewett as a laborer, almost certainly because of her gender. She was born at San Ildefonso and moved to Cochiti in 1905 after the death of her mother. She asked Hewett if she could live and work at the museum in 1921, but her request was denied. See letters from Peña to Lansing Bloom, 19 September 1921 (box 4, folder 4) and Bloom to Peña, 26 October 1921 (box 4, folder 5), Edgar L. Hewett Collection, Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Hewett (1922, p. 110) argues that Pueblo paintings are of ethnographic (and aesthetic) interest. Reflecting on her reasons for asking her Native students to paint, DeHuff wrote, “eight years ago after seeing my first Indian ceremonial, enthusiasm demanded that I secure a reproduction of it in colors. However, how could such a thing be had? After days of pondering, I canvassed the rooms at the Santa Fe Indian School for children, who showed especial aptitude for drawing and crayon coloring”; see Elizabeth DeHuff, “American Primitives in Art”, unpublished manuscript, Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Family Papers, Center for Southwest Research, box 6, folder 3. In a similar vein, Tanner (1973, pp. 133–34) wrote that the fine details Tonita Peña’s paintings make them “the same excellent ethnological records that are the case with so much of this [Pueblo] Indian art”. Brody (1997, p. 157) writes that Awa Tsireh’s early paintings for Hewett were objective, descriptive, and “ethnographically detailed”, arguing that the artist moved to a more subjective mode as he matured, a claim Brody extends to other Pueblo painters too (189).
On “autoethnography” with respect to Pueblo painting, see (Penney and Roberts 1999, pp. 23, 25, 27; Anthes 2006, p. 4; Rushing 2018, p. 5). The term is also used in broader scholarship about Indigenous visual and material culture, including (Phillips 1999, p. 34; 1998, p. 17; Ono 2011, pp. 64–65; Martineau 2001; Dobkins 1997, p. 15; 2000).
Emphasis original to the text. She previously defined the term in (Pratt 1991, pp. 35–36).
On autoethnographic representation as oppositional and a mode of resistance, see (Pratt 1991, pp. 35–36; 1992, p. 9). She offers many specific examples throughout both texts. Not all scholars emphasize this aspect of Pratt’s concept. For example, Rushing (2018, p. 5) describes the work of Tonita Peña as “auto-ethnographic, as they reflect a keen awareness of, and appreciation for, the desire of Euro-American anthropologists to collect (images of) traditional culture”. Miller et al. (2007, p. 500) defines “auto-ethnography” as a practice through which modern Pueblo painters and Plains ledger artists narrated “their own cultural ways during the same period anthropologists were writing ethnographic accounts of their culture”. Just as the fraught nature of Prattian autoethnography is sometimes dampened, so too is Pratt’s concept of the “contact zone”, as is discussed in (Boast 2011).
As uses of the term “autoethnography” broaden, its ties to the discipline of ethnography have loosened, leading scholars to hotly debating what should be the relationship between exploration of the self (autobiography) and the exploration of culture (ethnography). These debates are addressed in many of the texts on autoethnography cited in note 15, as well as throughout a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35, no. 4 (August 2006) and in (Ellis and Bochner 2000). Today, this controversial method is arguably most popular in the fields of communication and education.
The terms “occasioned meaning” and “standing meaning” are drawn from the principles of “compositionality” as proposed by philosophers of language; see (Szabó 2017). In adopting these terms, I acknowledge that I am stretching the limits of how philosophers of language might use them.
In an email exchange (28 May 2015), I asked Mary Louise Pratt what was “idiosyncratic” about the term. She generously replied that her definition, as summarized here, is different than how the term is often generally used to mean self-description or self-writing.
“Ana” as a prefix is from the Greek ana, which can mean re-, up, to, toward, back, again, against, up, on, throughout, again, and so on.
Pratt, in contrast, offers a more expansive view of what constitutes “ethnographic writing”. As Pratt (1986, pp. 27–28) explains, she understands tropes of modern ethnographic writing as derived from, and thus, relevant to, earlier discursive traditions, such as travel writing, which predates the formation of modern ethnography as a discipline. Ethnography as a distinct area of study was developed by historian and geographer Gerhard Friedrich Müller in the 1730s. The establishment of ethnography as a professional field dates to the turn of the twentieth century.
Many of the other interpretive possibilities of early modern Pueblo paintings, including what the paintings mean within Pueblo communities and how they resisted colonialism, are offered in (Seymour 1988; Jantzer-White 1994; Brody 1997; Penney and Roberts 1999; McGeough 2009, pp. 43–75; Fry 2008; Scott 2013; Horton 2015).
Emphasis original to the text. On the politics of refusal, also see (Simpson 2014).
She does not specify where Crescencio was working at the time.
Herbert J. Spinden (1930, p. 50) claims that while doing ethnological work in 1909–1912, he “obtained several drawings from natives of Nambe and Cochiti [Pueblos] covering gods and ceremonies.” While other Northern Pueblo men were also selling their paintings and drawings to anthropologists, Montoya was among the first Northern Pueblo figurative artists patrons remembered by name. According to Bertha Dutton, Montoya sold paintings to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Henry when they were doing fieldwork for the School for American Archaeology at El Rito de Los Frijoles during the seasons of 1910 and 1911; see (D. 1942; Dutton 1942, p. 144) (Dutton’s second essay corrects some factual errors made in the first one.) Montoya also sold paintings to Judge and Mrs. A. J. Abbott, according to Alice Corbin Henderson, “The Development of Modern Indian Painting,” paper read at the Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center, 1933, William Penhallow Henderson Papers, Archives of American Art, series 10, box 6. In 1911, Richards, the teacher at the San Ildefonso Day School, also purchased a drawing from Montoya. His work was among the paintings and drawings Richards sent to ethnologist Barbara Freire-Marreco in England for exhibition; see (Tanner 1973, p. 67). On Freire-Marreco and her anthropological work in New Mexico, see (Snead 2001, pp. 138–43; Blair 2008).
See “Pay Roll, Rito de Los Frijoles Excavations, 1911” (“Sept. 2, 1911” is handwritten at bottom), Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, box 10, folder 10. Awa Tsireh is listed as “Alfonzo Rafael Roybal,” and he appears alongside his father, Juan Estevan Roybal, and his maternal grandfather, Santiago Martinez.
Examples are reproduced in (Tanner 1973, pp. 28–58) and are abundant in period archaeological literature produced by the School for American Archaeology; see (Wilson 1917; Chapman 1916). Also see “Cave Pictographs of the Rito de Los Frijoles New Mexico”, read at St. Louis meeting of the Archaeological Institute, 27–30 December 1916 (AC02.175.1a), and “Cave Pictographs from El Rito de los Frijoles, 1909” (AC02.175.1os), Kenneth M. Chapman Collection, School for Advanced Research.
In (Hewett 1918, p. 69), he writes that Crescencio delivered twenty-two paintings. He completed the first eagle dancer just before his death and was one eagle dancer shy of completing the commission. Only twenty paintings of the Crescencio Set can be found at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Ten are signed “Drawing by Ta’e” in Crescencio’s hand. According to Hewett, there should be twelve such paintings. Ten more paintings are signed “Ta’e” in a different script, likely Hewett’s or someone else on his staff.
According to (Brody 1997, p. 72), Alice Corbin Henderson and Hewett believed that Awa Tsireh assisted his uncle with the set. Although Brody gives no citation for this information, this account is supported by Santa [Roybal] Martinez who states that, early on, her uncle Crescencio guided Awa Tsireh on what and how to paint; see (Wyckoff 1996, p. 174). Moreover, two artists’ paintings from 1917 and 1918 are similar in subject matter and style.
On the various types of ceremonial dances and their restrictions, see (Dozier 1970, pp. 182–85, 196–97).
On Kabotie, see (Highwater 1986, p. 231).
Shije Herrera’s ex-communication from Zia is well documented. See (Kabotie and Belknap 1977, p. 28; Seymour 1988, p. 168; Wyckoff 1996, p. 28). Many at Zia, as well at many non-Zia Pueblo people, still view Shije Herrera and his art with a great deal of suspicion and even contempt. This is clear from my conversations with Zia cultural leaders, as well as with directors of and curators at Santa Fe’s many cultural institutions.
Scott (2013) addresses evasive visual tactics used by modern Pueblo painters, including silences or informational gaps (forms of refusal); misdirection, or the intentional and often subtle alteration of details; coding, which can entail the abstraction of knowledge, often into symbolic form; and masking, or accentuating artifice to hide depth of meaning. A relevant example of “misdirection” is outlined in (Lucic and Bernstein 2008), which details how traders and Zuni potters collaborated to create “pseudo ceremonial” pots between 1928 and 1932; these eccentric pots—which drew from illustrations of Zuni shields, masks, and alters published in anthropological texts—fooled many anthropologists at Laboratory of Anthropology, who purchased them for the Lab’s collection. Aesthetic tactics of resistance have a long history in Pueblo visual and material culture, going back to Spanish conquest; see (Mobley-Tanaka 2002; Mills 2002).
My emphasis. Santana Martinez’s recollection is published in (Wyckoff 1996, p. 174).
Gilbert Sanchez quoted in (Wyckoff 1996, p. 226).
On Indigenous knowledge, see (Allen 1991; Deloria 1994, pp. 62–77, 98–113; Mihesuah 1998; Warrior 1995; Whitt 1995; Smith 1999; Deloria and Wildcat 2001). On the dangers of misusing knowledge and the social repercussions of doing so in Pueblo culture, see (Allen 1990, p. 381; Suina 1992, p. 60; Whiteley 1993, p. 139; Chavez 2001, pp. 29–30, 86–93).
Enote quoted in (Morell 2007).
Hewett described a human body found in a cave burial at El Rito de Los Frijoles as “the best specimen,” publishing his report with a photograph of the body; see (Hewett 1909, p. 662). On the aggressive collecting practices of both bodies and objects by early anthropologists in the Southwest, see (Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2010, pp. 45–82; Colwell 2017, pp. 16–19).
On salvage ethnography, see (Gruber 1970).
Hewett (1916, p. 266) repeats well-worn declination narratives, concluding that Indians are “a race pressing its way toward the sun.” To conserve American Indian culture, Hewett wrote, is to ensure the “conservation of humanity; an attempt to rescue and preserve the life-history of a great division of the human species”.
See (Hewett 1922, p. 109). This essay is clearly influenced by the writings of Marsden Hartley, whom Hewett hosted in at the Museum of Fine Arts and who published a number of essays that offered an aesthetic defense of Pueblo ceremonial dances, including (Hartley 1920). On these essays, see (Scott 2015, pp. 47–75).
Frank Hamilton Cushing helped to pioneer this approach at Zuni, where he worked from 1879 to 1884.
Anthes (2006, p. 4) sees the Hopi drawings as initiating “an era of pictorial ‘autoethnography.’” Part of the Codex Hopiensis was shown at the Brooklyn Museum alongside more contemporary paintings by Pueblo and Kiowa painters in 1930; see (Spinden 1930, pp. 49–50, 86). The drawings were also included in the landmark Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts that opened in New York City, in 1931, according to (Christian Science Monitor 1931). For more on the Codex Hopiensis, also see (Munson 2006, pp. 70–83, 120). The Codex has been understood as a precursor to modern Pueblo painting; see (Dunn 1968, pp. 190–94).
Many in Hewett’s circle also subscribed to ethno-archaeology. Sometime around 1901 or 1902, Kenneth Chapman saw Apie Begay creating drawings of Diné (Navajo) cosmological subjects and ceremonials figures, some of which were drawn from the iconography of sand paintings, and commissioned Begay to draw works for him; see (Dietrich 1936, pp. 18–19; Highwater 1976, pp. 41–44).
On anthropology as an evasive force and Pueblo resistance to it, see (Pandey 1972; Lucic and Bernstein 2008, pp. 4, 11, 14–19, 71; Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2010, pp. 72–73). What today would be considered coercive strategies for obtaining information were widely used by early twentieth-century anthropologists, as evinced in (Fewkes 1969; Parsons 1939; Lange  1968); to name just a few.
According to Fewkes’ (1969, pp. 15–16) report, his artist-informants included Kutcahonauû (or White-bear), who had attended the Keams Canyon School, and an unnamed boy from a government school in Lawrence, Kansas (The Haskell Institute) The other two artist-informants, Homovi and Winuta, had not attended government schools. Munson (2006, p. 78) identifies the unnamed boy as Pobitsche. Anthes (2006, pp. 30–58) offers a rich discussion of two Native artists who shared secrets with anthropologists: José Bartolo Lente and James Michael Byrnes. Lente (Isleta) lived in dire poverty outside of his community and supported himself in the 1930s by making esoteric drawings for Elsie Clews Parson, who promised him anonymity. Byrnes (aka Jimmy Bear, Acoma-Laguna-Lakota) was an “urban Indian” who studied at the Albuquerque Indian School and who depicted Katsinam for Byron Harvey during the 1950s and 1960s. Artist-informant Frank Day (Konkow Maidu) also worked with anthropologists during the 1960s and 70s. On Day, see (Dobkins 2000).
Ishii defines intellectual colonialism as “the process by which meaning and authority is constructed and maintained within the colonizer’s epistemological and teleological activities” (p. 35). The legacy of early southwestern ethnologies is riddled with ambivalence, being both incredibly offensive (the stealing of information and the sharing of sensitive material) and of some use to Pueblo peoples (having the potential to facilitate remembering).
See, for example, (Stevens 1887; Tilly E. Stevens is a pen name for Matilde Coxe Stevenson). Also see Powell’s summary of Stevenson’s work in this same report, L-LIII.
Stevenson’s claims were summarized in the (Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1911, p. 55). The report became news; see, for example, (Washington Post 1915a; Washington Post 1915b). Stevenson’s report was immediately contested; see (Santa Fe New Mexican 1915a; Santa Fe New Mexican 1915b; Hodge 1924). Stevenson’s sensationalized and spurious report was still being accepted as fact ten years later, as evinced by Edward S. Curtis (1926, pp. 21–22). Curtis wrote that Stevenson first made her claim about Tewa human sacrifice in 1913 in a New Mexican newspaper.
Hewett forcefully spoke out against US imperialism in (Hewett 1916, pp. 257, 259, 262). Frank Hamilton Cushing’s case is paradigmatic of the complex relationship between anthropology, colonialism, and anti-imperialism. Cushing lived among the Zunis from 1879 to 1884, and he violated their trust by sketching ceremonials and intruding on esoteric rituals. However, he also advocated and agitated for the Zuni against white settlers encroaching on Zuni lands and against missionary efforts at the pueblo. For this and other examples of anthropologists advocating for the communities they studied, see (Pandey 1972, pp. 322–26; Brooks 2016, pp. 19, 132–33).
See Chapman’s memoir, Kenneth M. Chapman Collection, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, ACO2.159.
On Hewett and his work at the New Mexico Normal School, see (Elliott 1987, pp. 4–7).
On the school and its history, see (Elliott 1987).
On Crescencio working at Tyuonyi around 1908, see (Elliott 1987, p. 16). Hewett writes about Tewa workers at Tyuonyi in (Hewett 1909, p. 669). Dietrich (1936, p. 20) claims that Crescencio also worked at a site managed by Hewett in 1910. A picture of Crescencio at Otowi from 1915 is reproduced in (Brody 1997, p. 23).
Bruce Bernstein proposed this idea to me in conversation on July 24, 2018.
Hewett again praises Tewa workman for sharing valuable information in (Hewett 1909, p. 667).
Excavating at Puyé promise to “fill the [newly founded Southwest] museum” (Lummis to Hewett, 2 August 1907) with “swag” largely from burial mounds and the sixty-six rooms (see Hewett to Lummis, 11 August 1907, and Hewett to Lummis, 10 September 1907). On the scope of the excavation, also see Lummis to Hewett, 12 September 1907. The letters between Hewett and Lummis cited in this paper are located in Charles Fletcher Lummis Papers, 1888–1928 (MS.1), Braun Research Correspondence, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA., call numbers MIMSY.MS.1.12032C (23 June–5 September 1907) and MIMSY.MS.1.12032C (12 September to 31 December 1907). I thank Jonathan Batkin for pointing me to these remarkable letters.
Hewett and Lummis discussed these options at length and Hewett shared details about the Puyé excavation in numerous letters written during the fall of 1907; see Lummis/Hewett Correspondence, 1907, Lummis Papers, MIMSY.MS.1.12032C (23 June–5 September 1907) and MIMSY.MS.1.12032C (12 September to 31 December 1907).
On targeting burial mounds, see Lummis/Hewett Correspondence, 1907, Lummis Papers, MIMSY.MS.1.12032C (23 June–5 September 1907).
Quoted in (Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2010, p. 71).
It is likely that Hewett and his staff mostly worked through Pueblo governors in person, but there are handful of letters that also speak to these negotiations located in the Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, including Hewett to Juan Gonzales (to hire laborers, among them Awa Tsireh), 1 July 1920, box 4, folder 1; Gonzales to Hewett, 19 June 1922 and Hewett to Gonzales, 24 June 1922, box 4, folder 7. Pueblo governors frequently called Hewett’s laborers home to do community work, as also evinced in letters in the Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, including Julian Martinez to Kenneth Chapman, 4 February 1911 and 23 February 1911, box 1, folder 14; Governor Juan Rey Martinez (San Ildefonso) to Hewett, 23 October 1912, box 2, folder 2; Hewett to Governor Fecundo Sanchez (San Ildefonso), 8 May 1915, box 2, folder 8; and Bloom to Hewett (on Awa Tsireh and Antonio Peña), 27 March 1922, box 17, folder 9. The authority of Pueblo governors and outsiders’ understanding of this authority is also evinced in Elizabeth DeHuff’s unpublished manuscript, “Pueblo Friends,” in which she wrote, “upon entering [a Pueblo], one must first see the Governor”; DeHuff Family Papers, CSWR, box 6, folder 56.
In conversation with Bruce Bernstein, 24 July 2018.
Santiago Naranjo frequently appears in Chapman’s photographs at digs; see Kenneth M. Chapman Collection, School for Advanced Research, AC02.776 and ACO2.779. Naranjo (Santa Clara) wrote to Hewett many times in his capacity as governor; see Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, box 2, folders 8 and 9. Bandelier describes Naranjo as “four times governor of the pueblo (conservative), best known of all Pueblo Indians, guide, philosopher, and friend of archaeologists, artists, and tourists” (Bandelier and Hewett  1973, p. 95). As early as 1911, Julian Martinez, who would later become governor of at San Ildefonso, was on Hewett’s payroll as a laborer for an excavation; see “Pay Roll, Rito de Los Frijoles Excavations, 1911” (handwritten at bottom. “Sept. 2, 1911”), Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, box 10, folder 10.
In August 1913, Hewett was looking for Pueblo people to come to the museum to do “industrial work” (i.e., to give demonstrations) in August 1913, and his staff reached out to Crescencio and Julián and Maria Martinez. See letter from Hewett to Kenneth Chapman, 25 July 1913, Hewett Collection, Chávez History Library, box 8, folder 1. A handwritten note at the top of the letter states that Maria and Julián were coming, but Crescencio could not because his baby was sick. Crescencio’s participation in the 1915 exposition is documented in (Hewett 1918, p. 69).
On the history of the tiles and the difficulty in creating them, see (Messier and Messier 2007).
Although first made for curio dealers in the 1880s, there are antecedents for this type of object among the Hopi. At least one ethnologist recorded instances of painted flat slabs made out of stone, wood, or fired clay being displayed on altars for ceremonial purposes.
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