THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AS HERO
The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.
-- L. P. Hartley
IN THE FALL of 1879, Frank Cushing, boy genius, stood alone at the entrance to Zuni Pueblo, wondering if he'd made a serious mistake. In the distance, the rest of his Smithsonian field party were riding westward toward Hopi, glad to be rid of their arrogant 22-year-old colleague. One departee, the ethnographer Matilda Cox Stevenson, later called Cushing"the biggest fool and charlatan I ever knew."
When Zuni Governor Palowahtiwa asked his uninvited guest how long he intended to remain, Cushing brashly announced, "Two months." The old chief replied only "Tuh!" (Damn!).
Over the months and years to come, Cushing found he was a very long way from home.