Their Lands: Native Americans on Monument Reduction
Every few months for much of his life, the 66-year-old Navajo spiritual leader has trekked from his nearby home to this slice of land in southeastern Utah, not far from the base of the Bears Ears buttes, to gather sage. Throughout the year, he uses the plant in ceremonies, often sharing it with people seeking wisdom or health, or as a way to offer thanks. “This is our land and our herb,” Yellowman said. “It has to be protected. It’s all we have.” “This is the first monument Trump attacks,” Landreth said. “That is no coincidence — it’s a direct assault on the exercise of tribal sovereignty that resulted in the monument, and an assault on the cultures the tribes are trying so desperately to protect.” https://lat.ms/2CBiEbS – Los Angeles Times
Analysis: Economic Fallout from Utah’s Double-Down on Reductions?
The reaction of the outdoor industry was swift and unequivocal: Utah’s leadership had shown itself a foe to the outdoors as well as to the industry focused on preserving the outdoors. Patagonia—a company that, according to The New York Times, “has been unapologetically political since the 1970s”—led the charge, with op-eds condemning what they saw as Governor Herbert’s craven subservience to monied interests. The Governor and other state leaders, in turn, viewed the preservation coalition as being unwilling to compromise, overly idealistic, and too beholden to an environmentalist ideology to fully grasp the realities of the situation. In other words, it was the same-old, same-old: environmentalism versus the economy. Except—in a new twist on an old refrain—this time there were big economic incentives aligned with the preservation camp. http://bit.ly/2CCvaIt – Utah Business
More on Return of Acoma Heritage
Culturally significant items stolen from the Acoma people were returned to the tribe during a celebratory and often emotional ceremony at the pueblo’s cultural center on Wednesday. Among the most significant was an Acoma shield used in religious ceremonies, recovered from a Montana art gallery in 2016 by Bureau of Indian Affairs agents. http://bit.ly/2CCcbxL – Albuquerque Journal
Tribal and federal officials celebrated the return Wednesday of dozens of cultural items to Acoma Pueblo’s nearly 1,000-year-old village in New Mexico after the tribe spent years pressing for the repatriations of ceremonial items from galleries, auction houses and private collections worldwide. Acoma Pueblo tribal Gov. Kurt Riley called the return of the items a “great joy and relief,” while noting in a statement that the pueblo has yet to recover a shield that features the face of a Kachina, or ancestral spirit, from a Paris auction house. http://bit.ly/2CBseM8 – Santa Fe New Mexican
Government Shutdown Affects Heritage Sites
In Montezuma County, 40 percent of land is owned by the federal government. Mesa Verde National Park encompasses 52,000 acres, or 82 square miles, of federal land managed by the National Park Service. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument encompasses 176,000 acres, or 275 square miles, of federal land under the Bureau of Land Management. At Mesa Verde National Park, spokesperson Cristy Brown directed The Journal to email the National Park Service communications office in Washington for details on how a shutdown would affect the park. http://bit.ly/2CzLObo – Durango Herald
Denise Robertson, the superintendent at Aztec Ruins and Chaco Culture National Historical Park, said if there is a lapse in funding for the federal government, both locations will close. The closures also would lead to the cancellation of winter solstice observances scheduled for Saturday, Robertson said. http://bit.ly/2Cz8kkH – Farmington Daily Times
Commentaries: Changes at Interior
Now that Ryan Zinke, former Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), will depart the agency he led, Utah Diné Bikéyah Assistant Director Honor Keeler (Cherokee) hopes his replacement will not marginalize Indigenous voices, will work to protect the public lands that have been managed by Native Americans since time immemorial, and will not place the interests of destructive industry over the interests of the American people. As we saw in 2016, there was overwhelming support among the American public for the 1.35 million-acre boundary of the Bears Ears National Monument and its collaborative management with tribes. “I am hopeful that the new Secretary of the Interior will take a more responsible stance in consulting with American Indian/Alaska Natives and protecting cultural and environmental resources that are important to all tribes,” stated Keeler. http://bit.ly/2CBIkFx – Utah Diné Bikéyah
Secretary Ryan Zinke may be done with the Interior Department, but he’s likely not done with Congress. House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl M. Grijalva said in an interview that he’s “sure” Zinke will be called before the committee to testify about his time running the department, specifically about the department’s role in the shrinking of national monuments. “I’m sure that it’ll happen [because] there’s going to be situations, particularly around monument shrinkage,” said Grijalva, who is expected to become chairman of the committee when Democrats take control in January. http://bit.ly/2CBcVmv – Roll Call
Book Announcement: Giving Back
Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous Settings. Edited by R. D. K. Herman, with contributions by Jennifer Carter, Julia Christensen, Claire Colyer, David Crew, Erica A. D’Elia, Maria Fadiman, R.D.K. Herman, Richard Howitt, Stephanie Hull, Gwyneira Isaac. Chris Jacobson, Meredith Luze, Catrina A. MacKenzie, Lea S. McChesney, Kendra McSweeney, Janice Monk, Roxanne T. Ornelas, Tristan Pearce, Matthew Reeves, Chie Sakakibara, Wendy S. Shaw, Sarah Turner, and John R. Welch. Oregon State University Press. http://bit.ly/2AgxkeY
Tucson’s Past Interpreted along Its Trails
A recently completed segment of the Pantano River Park Trail offers the same exercise opportunities as other parts of The Loop trail system. But it provides an added benefit as well: a short trail-side course on the amazing history of the area. Information panels along the segment tracing Pantano Wash southeast of Craycroft Road tell of an ancient Hohokam village at the site, conflicts over irrigation channels, the rich history of nearby Fort Lowell and more. http://bit.ly/2CxVLWQ – Arizona Daily Star
Winter Foods: Zuni Parched Corn
For the Zuni of northern New Mexico, a favorite food of winter is parched corn. They say it’s to be made only in the winter months—if prepared during the growing season, it may adversely affect the fresh corn crops in the field. Here’s the recipe: Build a fire in a fireplace, and put a cast iron pot inside resting on a stack of rocks, bricks, or a steel grill. Tilt the pot forward to make it easier to stir the corn. Slender willow sticks about a quarter inch in diameter and two to three long are the stirring implements of choice. http://bit.ly/2Cz70hJ – KNAU
Heritage License Plates: Mesa Verde, CO
A nonprofit has created a petition to introduce a new Colorado specialty license plate to support one of the state’s national parks. The Mesa Verde Foundation (MVF), a private nonprofit, is leading the effort to create a license plate that would support Mesa Verde National Park. MVF created an iPetition online with a goal of gathering 3,000 qualified signatures by January so the bill can be introduced during the 2019 Colorado legislative session. https://dpo.st/2Cy4HeQ – Denver Post
Reminder: Archaeology Café (Phoenix) Welcomes Bernard Siquieros and Melissa Kruse-Peeples
On January 8, 2019, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore, Dr. Melissa Kruse-Peeples and Bernard Siquieros will explore “Sonoran Desert Food and Lifeways, Past and Present.” The Sonoran Desert is definitely not a food desert, and has dozens of edible wild plants and ancient arid-adapted agricultural food crops. In this talk, Kruse-Peeples and Siquieros will provide an overview of the food history of the Sonoran Desert and ways you can enjoy many of the flavors of the desert today. More information is at http://bit.ly/2SWwQ4y.
Lecture Opportunity, Cave Creek AZ
The Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society presents on January 9, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at no charge, Dr. Paul Minnis. The size and massive architecture of Paquimé (Casas Grandes) in northwestern Chihuahua has impressed visitors for centuries, ever since the first Spanish entradas to the area. The meeting is held in the community building (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen).
Film Opportunity, Dragoon AZ
On Saturday, January 12, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the Amerind Museum at 2100 N. Amerind Rd. will be showing the film, “Agave is Life.” The movie examines mankind’s symbiotic alliance with the agave plant from which tequila, Mexico’s iconic distilled spirit, is derived. Told through the lens of archaeological and historical investigations, the film relies upon ethnographic materials, archival footage, and interviews to explore 10,000 years of the human-agave relationship. A Q&A session with the film’s director and producer will follow each showing. For more information, visit amerind.org.
Lecture Opportunity, Santa Fe NM
On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the Santa Fe Archaeological Society (SFAS), Archaeological Institute of America, is pleased to present Jeremy Moss from Pecos National Historical Park, at 7:15 p.m. at the Pecos Trail Cafe, 2239 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM. His subject will be “Investigating the Use of Rare Lithic Materials at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.”
Lecture Opportunity, Tucson AZ
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) is pleased to present Michael Bletzer on Monday, January 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Medical Center’s Duval Auditorium (1501 N Campbell Ave, Tucson 85724), who will discuss Tierra Perdida: New Mexico’s Piro and Tiwa Provinces, ca. 1650–1700. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the AAHS website: http://www.az-arch-and-hist.org/, or contact John D. Hall at email@example.com or 520-205-2553 with questions about this or any other AAHS program.
Editors’ note: We are saddened to note the passing of our friend Willow Powers.
(David Noble, via the NM-ARCH listserv, December 22, 2018)—To all of you who were friends or acquaintances of Bob and Willow Powers, Willow died last night of cancer, following Bob by just under three years. Like Bob, she was dedicated to the Linda Cordell Prize, which became the Linda Cordell and Robert Powers Prize, and she presented it several times at Pecos Conferences. Willow earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and wrote two books on the history of Navajo trading posts. She was actively involved with the Wheelwright Museum and pursued other endeavors.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for her contributions to this edition.
Please submit news, book announcements, and events at this link for consideration: https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/submit-to-sat/