Ute Tales

Ute Tales

Ute Tales

Ute Tales

Synopsis

A collection of over 100 tales collected during the 1930s among the Ute peoples of Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Represents the first publication of Smith's work, who was Anne M. Cooke when she undertook her research. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Excerpt

As a Yale University graduate student in anthropology, Anne M. Smith first visited the Northern Utes of the Uinta and Ouray Reservation in eastern Utah during the summer of 1936. Nan, as Anne was known, returned in the summer of 1937. The anthropology faculty at Yale in the late 1930s was graced by several luminaries of the discipline: Edward Sapir, the famed ethnolinguist; Leslie Spier, the comparativist and fine ethnographer of American Indian culture; and George Peter Murdock, America's preeminent student of comparative social structure.

Nan was interested in ethnology, about how Indian culture once was, but she was particularly interested in contemporary Indian culture and the forces that had affected Indian societies since first Contact. She pursued that interest through most of her adult professional life, and whenever possible she used her professional skills to assist Indians. Among Nan's early professional advocacies of Indians was her contribution to the famous Confederated Bands of Ute Indians case, which was heard before the Indian Claims Commission in the late 1940s. The Ute case was the first to be heard by the Commission and resulted in a $31.8 million judgment to the Ute Indians of Utah and Colorado (Northern Utes, Southern Utes, and Ute Mountain Utes) for land expropriated from them in Colorado in the nineteenth century.

During the first five decades of this century it was rare for faculty or graduate students to express interest in con-

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