Frank Hamilton Cushing

Frank Hamilton Cushing on Zuni Culture

Cushing's contemporaries were critical of his efforts and activities in Zuni, primarily because of what they considered the lack of published material that Cushing produced during his tenure at the Pueblo. This fact has also been lamented by anthropologists since that time, and the lack of writings may well be the source of the general opinion that the material he made available is tainted and superimposed with "poetic overtones". Granted, Cushing's grandiose style is evident in many of his publications that appeared in periodicals during his lifetime. However, in order to be fair one should consider that Cushing was writing to an audience of the Victorian Era and he spoke in terms that he knew they would understand and wanted to hear. In this regard we can only criticize him for the forfeiture of his science to what was popular at the time. He created the objects of his research by a temporal distancing that was reflected in a terminology that at that time was not only popular, but was also scientific. Thus, subsequent criticisms such as Barbara Tedlock's portrayal of "wrong-headedness" and "wrong-heartedness" are in themselves wrong headed and wrong hearted, and Cushing's methodology is based upon concepts that any ethnologist should understand, apart from any perceptions with moral overtones of rightness or wrongness.

Jesse Green's compilation is an extremely important body of work for any student of the Zuni culture. There is a great amount of material here that reflects Cushing's theories on Zuni semantics and mathematics (counting), and stories by Cushing that can be found no where else. Many of the letters he wrote to his sympathetic colleagues are rich in information as to the sources of the folklore and myth that he documented, and revealing on many aspects of his membership in the Priesthood of the Bow. Would you like to know Cushing's side of the story in his feud with the Stevensons? It is here.

What is also here to a certain extent is Cushing's vindication. Next generation Zuni anthropologists such as Ruth Bunzel and Franz Boas were highly critical of Cushing's findings. While Bunzel's work at Zuni is nothing less than important, it has as its source those Zuni denizens who were or had been intent on implementing the demise of the Bow Priesthood, a secret society of which Cushing had been a member and was the source of much folklore and myth, including memorized texts of the Zuni origin orated from generation to generation.

Cushing's letters and journal entries are very readable and incredibly enjoyable. He was a poet at heart and it is reflected in his writing style. The book is worth its weight in gold simply for Jesse Green's lengthy and informative notes, occasional insights, and his extensive bibliography.

Cushing at Zuni: The Correspondence and Journals of Frank Hamilton Cushing, 1879-1884
Jesse Green/Hardcover/1990

Frank Hamilton Cushing, Zuni fetishes, Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology

Zuni Fetishes
Frank Hamilton Cushing, Intro. by Tom Bahti/softcover/1966
Facsimile edition:Original text of the Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology
Zuni Fetishes
Frank H. Cushing, Annotations by Mark Bahti/Paperback/1999
Zuni Fetiches, Illustrated, Dodo Press
Frank H. Cushing/Paperback/2008

A Study of Pueblo Pottery as Illustrative of Zuni Culture Growth.Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, (Forgotten Books)
Frank Hamilton Cushing, /Softcover/2009

Articles on the Zuni Native Americans, (Forgotten Books)
Frank Hamilton Cushing, /Softcover/2008

Frank Hamilton Cushing, /Hardcover/2009

Exploration of Ancient Key Dwellers' Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida,
(Antiquities of the New World: Early Explorations in Archaeology, Vol 13)
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Hardcover/1973

The Lost Itinerary of Frank Hamilton Cushing,
Curtis M. Hinsley, David R. Wilcox, /Hardcover/2002

Manual concepts: A study of the influence of hand-usage on culture-growth
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Unknown Binding/1892

My Adventures in Zuni
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/1967

The Mythic World of the Zuni
Frank Hamilton Cushing, Barton Wright/Softcover/1992

The Nation of the Willows; the Narrative of Franck H. Cushing's Journey to the Havasupai Indians in 1882
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Hardcover/1965

Origin Myth From Oraibi,
(reprint from American Journal of Folk-Lore, Volume 36, Number 140, April-June, 1923.)
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/1923

Outlines of Zuni Creation Myths
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Hardcover/1996

The Serpent's Tongue: Prose, Poetry, and Art of the New Mexican Pueblos
by Frank Hamilton Cushing (Author), Paula Gunn Allen (Author), Willa Cather (Author), Tony Hillerman (Author), Oliver La Farge (Author), Oliver Littlebird (Author), Barry Lopez (Author), Leslie Marmon Silko (Author), Simon J. Ortiz (Author), Joe S. Sando (Author), Rina Swentzell (Author), Frank Waters (Author), Nancy Wood (Editor)/Hardcover/1997

Short Works of Frank Hamilton Cushing
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/2009

Zuni Breadstuff, (Indian Notes and Monographs, Vol. 8), Hardcover, Rare
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Hardcover/1920

Zuni Breadstuff, (Indian Notes and Monographs, Vol. 8), Softcover
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/1920

Zu~Ni Breadstuff, (Indian Notes and Monographs, Vol. 8), Hardcover
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/1975

Zuni Coyote Tales
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/1998

Zuni Folk Tales, (Forgotten Books)
Frank Hamilton Cushing/Softcover/2008

Zuni: Selected Writings of Frank Hamilton Cushing
Frank Hamilton Cushing, Jesse Green ed./Softcover/1981

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All rights reserved 2004, Chet Staley, reprint by permission only