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Ceremonial Costumes Of The Pueblo Indians: Their Evolution, Fabrication, And Significance In The Prayer Drama
by Virginia More Roediger
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in 1941, this comprehensive, illustrated volume explores Pueblo costumes and the theatrical ceremonies in which they are used.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When the University of California Press first published Roediger's Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians in 1941, it was immediately hailed as both a beautiful book and the most comprehensive description ever of the making and meaning of the Pueblo costumes of New Mexico and Arizona. It has been widely acknowledged as a classic and eagerly sought after in antiquarian bookstores.
Exactly fifty years after its original publication, here is the book back in print, with a new introduction by the renowned anthropologist Fred Eggan. Roediger's vivid paintings are reproduced once more in full color, capturing the beauty and drama of the Pueblo ceremonies--the turquoise dance moccasins, the tableted headdress of the Zuni corn maidens, the bright-blanketed Kachina maiden, and the buffalo, brilliant eagle, and horned deer costumes.
It was Roediger who first viewed the ceremony and ritual of the Pueblo peoples as dramatic performance, a view that has gained great currency since. As a student of drama at Yale University she was fascinated by the intensely theatrical dimension to Pueblo worship, and it is this original perspective that informs and illuminates her study.
After a brief survey of the history, location, and life of the Pueblo peoples, Roediger embarks on a thorough analysis of the materials used in the Pueblo costumes. She explains both their symbolic significance and their manufacture--from the weaving of cloth and the tanning of leather to the preparation of birds' feathers, evergreens, paints, and dyes. She then provides a meticulous description of the costumed dancer--body paint, garments, ornaments, accessories, and dance properties such as rattles, headdresses, and masks.
In her final section, Roediger explores the relation of the costumes to the prayer dramas, particularly to the reverential, solemn, ecstatic public dance with which these climax. Vivid details emerge here about such rituals as the animal dances from the Rio Grande region and the Rain Dance of the Zuni.
Fifty years after its original publication, Virginia Roediger's book remains the most comprehensive study of the ceremonial costumes of the Pueblo peoples. A book of great visual appeal and unrivaled detail, it will be welcomed back by scholars and general readers alike.
From the Inside Flap
"In this splendid book, David Roediger shows the need for political activism aimed at transforming the social and political meaning of race. Colored White shows that racism is a creation of culture and politics. Roediger excavates hidden histories of past anti-racist movements that hold great relevance for the present, but he also shows how failure to come to grips with the pervasive power of 'whiteness' has repeatedly doomed the efforts of historical struggles for social justice. No other writer on whiteness can match Roediger's historical breadth and depth: his grasp of the formative role played by race in the making of the nineteenth century working class, in defining the contours of twentieth-century U.S. citizenship and social membership, and in shaping the meaning of emerging social identities and cultural practices in the twenty-first century."--George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
"David Roediger has been showing us all for years how whiteness is a marked and not a neutral color in the history of the United States. Colored White, with its synthetic sweep and new historical investigations, marks yet another advance. In the burgeoning literature on whiteness, this book stands out for its lucid, unjargonridden, lively prose, its groundedness, its analytic clarity, and its scope."--Michael Rogin, author of Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot
About the Author
Virginia More Roediger began studying the Pueblo dances in 1925 when she drove out west for college. She wrote Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians as her dissertation in the School of Drama at Yale University. Fred Eggan is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and the author of, among others, The Social Organization of the Western Pueblos (Chicago 1950) and The American Indian: Perspectives for the Study of Social Change (Cambridge 1981).
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