Synopses & Reviews
From 1933 to 1937, the great American anthropologist Edward T. Hall lived and worked on reservations in the Southwest, a frontier where four cultures--Navajo, Hopi, Hispanic, and Anglo--clashed. Re-creating that stark and haunting landscape, Hall pieces together a firsthand account of two proud worlds--the frugal, Pueblo-dwelling Hopi with their isolated villages high on the mesa tops and their deeply felt religious faith and the Navajos, whose rhythm and ceremonious forms of respect Hall learned as he worked with them. In these early experiences, as Hall discovered the deeply human logic of these tribes, he began to recognize how culture itself, not only theirs but his own, was at work in each person's behavior. The respect he felt and diplayed won him a friendly Navajo nickname--Chiz Chili, meaning Slim Curly Hair--and a mentor, the great Indian trader, Lorenzo Hubbell. Set under the vast arch of sky in a place of unforgettable beauty, West Of The Thirties is about the Navajos and Hopis as one receptive young white man perceived them, but it is also about the core of being human, which Hall would later develop into a theory of implicit culture. In these pages, we see theory in the flesh, taking a hundred different human forms and engaging us in a lost world, the West of the thirties.
Includes bibliographical references and index.