Indian Ceremonials of New Mexico and Arizona
by Erna Fergusson
[1931, copyright not renewed]
This is a first person look at a wide range of Pueblo, Hopi, Navajo, Zuñ, and Apache ceremonials in the late 1920s. This book is both an ethnographic document and a classic of Southwestern literature.
Erna Fergusson (1888-1964), a native New Mexican, was a talented writer and journalist. She earned a master's degree in Latin American studies at Columbia University, and worked for the Red Cross in rural northern New Mexico. She then worked for the Albuquerque Tribune. She founded Koshare Tours, a pioneering tour of Arizona and New Mexico Native American ceremonials. This book grew out of that experience.
Fergusson's writing style is spare and vigorous, filled with a sense of place and a deep appreciation of the desert high plateau region. Dancing Gods is well researched and sympathetic, and remarkably free of attitudes patronizing or idealizing Native Americans.