INDIAN TIME by Judith Fein


A Year of Discovery Among the Native Americans of the Southwest
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 In 1991, Fein, a documentary producer/screenwriter, traveled to the Southwest to research a TV series on contemporary American Indians. Here, in an honest, often wide-eyed account of the land and its diverse peoples, she chronicles her year of discovery. From an initial disappointment with her Indian cowriter, who professed to be too busy to work with her, to persistent difficulty in stifling an inquisitiveness considered offensive in the native Pueblo culture, Fein has her share of obstacles to overcome, but she and husband Paul quickly adjust to a world far from the self- promoting, gossipy one they left behind. Any invitation to visit with an Indian family invariably leads to others, with Fein's success in gaining acceptance acknowledged when she's invited to take part in an Apache puberty ceremony. Frequent trips to various Pueblos for Feast Days and less formal occasions give firsthand knowledge of contemporary Indian problems and achievements--an education enhanced by exploring ruins, petroglyph sites, and other evidence of the region's heritage. One excursion leads to an encounter with a Hispanic man guarding petroglyphs on his land; he agrees to sponsor a ``petroglyph party'' to bring together previously segregated native and Hispanic communities--an effort to reconcile differences and hostilities that have lasted for centuries. The process of uniting others enables Fein to better cope with her own fears, allowing her to return home fulfilled and with renewed purpose. Overly confessional and, at times, too focused on day-to-day details, but, still--with its appealing, steady warmth and sympathy for human foibles--a lively study of personal growth and cultural exchange.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-79576-7
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993