Native Peoples of the Southwest
Negotiating Land, Water, and Ethnicities
by Laurie Weinstein
August 2001, 280pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-89789-674-0
$86, £64, 75€, A117

Focuses on land/water issues in the American Southwest from prehistory to the present.

For all peoples on all continents and for all times, water has been the blood of life. It is fitting then, that this book about the peoples of the Southwest be dedicated to an examination of water in a land that has historically been dry, making the need to locate water supplies essential. The Southwest became an important frontier for Spanish and then Anglo explorers and colonizers who battled with native occupants for strategic locations. Each one of these groups who made the Southwest their home were ethnically quite different. They represented diverse histories, cultures, nationalities, classes, religions and world views.

Beginning with discussion of innovative prehistoric land and water use, the book describes the ways in which early farmers learned how to harness the precious drops of water for their fields. The story then continues with views from the Pueblos and beyond as the living sacredness of earth’s resource is described by native peoples. This emic view, however, is often in conflict with the various legal definitions of resources carved by federal, state and local officials and developers. The book goes on to examine the background of contemporary land conflicts and water litigation between numerous contestants: Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo. The book ends with articles that attest to the clever ways in which ethnicity is configured and boldly proclaimed in order to reclaim privilege.

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