THE PUEBLO INDIANS by Richard Erdoes


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The first of a new series, this is a vague jumble of generalities accompanied by ill-chosen, ill-printed photographs--hardly an auspicious start. Distinctions are sloppy (see petroglyphs vs. pictographs) and so, sometimes, is usage (the honorary Don preceding a surname instead of a given name); conclusions are unsubstantiated and sometimes insubstantial (""their government was and is democratic""). Moreover, it is not necessary to state that ""For the white man, if he is religious at all, faith is a matter of attending church on Sunday"" in order to emphasize the Indians' immersion in their religion. Other typical lapses: the component tribes are never identified as such, nor distinguished from one another; kachinas are simply ""good spirits,"" not ancestors. The final sections on arts and crafts have some cohesion and some interest on a tourist level. Otherwise the book is inferior to Bleeker for the many aspects both cover, and to Rebecca Marcus' First Book for description and illustration of the Cliff Dwellers--not to mention other sound studies which encompass the area.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls