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HIST 151J: Writing Tribal History:: Materials Used in Class Session: October 26, 2023


This course guide is intended to assist students in their research projects for the course, "Writing Tribal History" taught by Professor Ned Blackhawk during Fall term 2023 at Yale University. The following entries highlight the archival collection materials used in the class session held at the Beinecke Library on Thursday, October 26, 2023. 

Additionally, the following online guides will assist you in using Yale's special collections and finding primary sources for your research project.

Library Contacts

Students in HIST 151J should feel free to contact any of the following librarians as a starting point for research assistance with their projects for this course.

  • Joshua Cochran: Curator, American History and Diplomacy, Beinecke Library -
  • James Kessenides: Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, Sterling Memorial Library -
  • Bill Landis: Teaching Librarian, Beinecke Library - 

While you're exploring the collection box in front of you and preparing to tell your fellow students something about the materials it contains, it may be useful to consider some of the following questions:

  1. Who created the materials you're looking at? When and where were they created?
  2. What is going on in the items you looked at? What is the context for the document(s)? For what purpose(s) were they created?
  3. Whose perspective(s) comes through in the document(s) you examined? Whose doesn’t?
  4. How do the materials relate to the readings and discussions you've been having in this course so far?
  5. What questions do the materials raise?
  6. Did anything surprise you when looking at the materials in your collection?

Richard Erdoes papers (WA MSS S-2609)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: Correspondence, writings, audio and moving image recordings, photographic materials, subject files, printed ephemera, art work, and other materials created or collected by Richard Erdoes (1912-2008), author of more than a dozen books about American Indian life. The collection primarily documents Erdoes's activities between 1968 and 1999, and is useful for the study of his writing process and research interests, specifically his work with American Indian individuals and communities. His papers also serve as a resource for the study of the peoples, areas, and subjects that he chose to research and record, and are particularly useful for research about the American Indian civil rights movement, twentieth century American Indian spirituality and religious practices, especially among the Lakota, and American Indian cultural revitilization efforts during the latter half of the twentieth century.

  • Box 89: "Navajo and Pueblo, Prehistory, Plains, West, 1961 and 1962" (39 black and white prints), 1961-1962, undated

N. Scott Momaday papers (YCAL MSS 807)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: N. Scott Momaday (b. 1934) is a Native American writer, painter, and activist of Kiowa descent. His mother, Natachee Scott Momaday, taught elementary school in the Navajo Nation. His father, Al Momaday, was a painter. Momaday has written seventeen books of fiction, poetry, drama and history. His novel House Made of Dawn received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. Momaday is the founder of the Rainy Mountain Foundation and Buffalo Trust, a nonprofit organization working to preserve Native American cultures.

  • Box 8: Revised draft, The Moon in Two Windows, circa 1990s.
  • Box 14: Annotated drafts of "Tuckerman and the Cricket" and "The Way to Rainy Mountain," undated.

Toba Pato Tucker photographs and papers (WA MSS S-2604)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: The subjects for Tucker's portraiture have come principally from Native American populations. These include members of the Onondaga Nation, Shinnecock Indian Nation, Navajo Nation, and Montaukett Indians. Tucker has also documented Native American artists from pueblos throughout the southwestern United States. This collection documents the career of Toba Pato Tucker as a portrait photographer, circa 1950-2011, and landscape photography since 2010, with the bulk of the collection from 1977 to 2017. The photographic materials in this collection consist of exhibition prints, work prints, and negatives for nine major projects, as well as her commission work and personal photography. The papers largely support her photographic work and consist of her project files, which include background research, correspondence, and oral history interviews. The papers also include exhibition catalogs, publications, and publicity material produced for projects, as well as a small amount of personal papers.​​​​​​

  • Box 142: Pueblo artists, portraits, negatives and contact sheets, May-September 1997.

Lee Marmon Photographs (WA Photos Folio 143)

Link to the catalog record in Orbis

Overview: Thrity-six black-and-white photographs and four color photographs created by Lee Marmon that chiefly document people and places at the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico, 1950-2004. Portraits in the collection include Laguna, Acoma, Chiricahua, Tewa, Ute, and Pueblo Indians, including politicians, elders, and artists. Many of the images appeared in his book, The Pueblo Imagination: Landscape and Memory in the Photography of Lee Marmon (Boston: Beacon Press, 2003).

Portraits of individuals at the Pueblo of Laguna include governors Floyd R. Correa, Robert Pacheco, Walter Sarracino, and James Solomon, as well as elders, including Juana Quicero, Bruce Riley, José Sanshu, Lupe Siow, and Jefferson Sowsea. Other scenes of persons at the Pueblo of Laguna include a group of children at a clothesline, shepherds, and dancers, including eagle dancers and buffalo dancers. Portraits of American Indian artists include Chiricahua artist Allan Houser, Tewa potter Grace Medicine Flower, Kewa potter Santana Melchor, Acoma potter Lucy M. Lewis, and Tewa painter Pablita Velarde, as well as author Leslie Marmon Silko, daughter of Lee Marmon.

Photographs of sites in New Mexico include overviews of the Pueblo of Laguna, including Sacred Heart of Jesus Church at Mesita, as well as overviews the Acoma Pueblo, including San Estevan del Rey Mission Church. There is also a view of Spider Rock at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.
The collection includes a copy photograph of a group portrait, circa 1928, which documents men from the Pueblo of Laguna who served in the territorial militia of New Mexico in the late nineteenth century.

Leslie Marmon Silko papers (YCAL MSS 637)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: Leslie Marmon Silko was born in 1948 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, raised on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, New Mexico, and educated at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of novels, poetry and short story collections, and other works, and the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts and poetry award (1974), Pushcart Prize for poetry (1977), and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant (1981). Papers consist of writings, research material, and audiovisual material documenting Leslie Marmon Silko's literary activity and output since the early 1970s. Writings in the collection include drafts and proofs for most of Silko's major works, the three novels Ceremony (1977), Almanac of the Dead (1991), and Gardens in the Dunes (2000), the poetry and short story collections, Laguna Woman (1974), Storyteller (1981), Sacred Water (1994), and Rain (1996), and the essays Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit (1997). In addition to other shorter and untitled works, there are clippings, photographs, personal papers, and correspondence. Audiovisual material in the collection consists chiefly of 35mm film for projects identified as Telarana and Arrowboy.

  • Box 1: Storyteller drafts, autograph manuscript and typescript, 1978.

Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Collection of American Indian Art (WA MSS S-150)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: The Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Collection of American Indian Art consists of 199 drawings, paintings, and sketches by Pueblo, Navajo (Diné), Apache, Cheyenne, and Kiowa Indian artists, including many works by young people. The artworks, which date from approximately 1917 to 1945, appear to have been produced primarily between the1920s and the 1940s. The collection reveals the connections and relationships that the DeHuffs cultivated with Indian artists in the Southwest and highlights, in some cases, the development and evolution of the individual style of specific artists and the prominence of certain themes and subjects in their work. The collection reflects Elizabeth DeHuff's interest in the art and culture of the Southwest, and her ongoing support of the artistic expression of young Indians.

Collection materials used in class session:

  • Box 3: Drawings by Wilson Dewey, Carlos García (Nana-Tsidé), Peter García, José Leandro Gutiérrez, and Joe Hilario Herrera, 1938-1943.

Vine Deloria papers (WA MSS S-2661)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: The Vine Deloria papers consist of writings, correspondence, subject files, legal files, teaching files, organizational records, awards and tributes, photographs, audiovisual materials, and electronic media documenting the life and work of Vine Deloria. Writings, correspondence, and subject files form the bulk of the collection and document his involvement in issues relating to Native Americans. Organizational correspondence and organizational records document the many groups with which Deloria was affiliated.

The North American Indian : being a series of volumes picturing and describing the Indians of the United States, and Alaska, Edward S. Curtis (ZZc12 907cua)

Link to the catalog record in Orbis

Contents: I. The Apache. The Jicarillas. The Navaho.--II. The Pima. The Papago. The Qahatika. The Mohave. The Yuma. The Maricopa. The Walapai. The Havasupai. The Apache-Mohave, or Yavapai.--III. The Teton Sioux. The Yanktonai. The Assiniboin.--IV. The Apsaroke, or Crows. The Hidatsa.--V. The Mandan. The Arikara. The Atsina.--VI. The Piegan. The Cheyenne. The Arapaho.--VII. The Yakima. The Klickitat. Salishan tribes of the interior. The Kutenai.--VIII. The Nez Percés. Wallawalla. Umatilla. Cayuse. The Chinookan tribes.--IX. Salishan tribes of the coast. The Chimakum and the Quilliute. The Willapa.--X. The Kwakiutl.--XI. The Nootka. The Haida.--XII. The Hopi.--XIII. The Hupa. The Yurok. The Karok. The Wiyot.
(Cont.) Tolowa and Tututni. The Shasta. The Achomawi. The Klamath.--XIV. The Kato. The Wailaki. The Yuki. The Pomo. The Wintun. The Maidu. The Miwok. The Yokuts.--XV. Southern California Shoshoneans. The Diegueños. Plateau Shoshoneans. The Washo.--XVI. The Tiwa. The Keres.--XVII. The Tewa. The Zuñi.--XVIII. The Chipewyan. The Western woods Cree. The Sarsi.--XIX. The Indians of Oklahoma. The Wichita. The southern Cheyenne. The Oto. The Comanche. The Peyote cult.--XX. The Alaskan Eskimo. The Nunivak Eskimo of Hooper Bay. Eskimo of King Island. Eskimo of Little Diomede Island. Eskimo of Cape Prince of Wales. The Kotzebue Eskimo. The Noatak. The Kobuk. The Selawik.

  • Volume XIX. The Indians of Oklahoma. The Wichita. The southern Cheyenne. The Oto. The Comanche. The Peyote cult.

[Collection of promotional ephemera for work by Edward S. Curtis about Indians of North America] (Zc12 907cv)

Link to the catalog record in Orbis

Contents: [1]. Indian life and Indian lore : Indian days of the long ago / Edward S. Curtis (Chicago : World Book Company, [ca. 1914]) (1 folded sheet ([3] panels), 16 cm.) -- [2]. The Curtis Indian pictures ([Seattle : Curtis Studio?, ca. 1907]) ([7] p., 16 cm.) -- [3]. Curtis Indians (Seattle : Curtis Studio, [ca. 1907]) ([10] p., chiefly ill., 20 cm.) -- [4]. The vanishing race : a picture by Edward S. Curtis / Ella Higginson [poem] (New York ; Seattle : Edward S. Curtis, [ca. 1910] ([4] p., 21 cm.) -- [5]. and [6]. The vanishing race : a picture by Edward S. Curtis / Ella Higginson [poem] ([S.l. : s.n., ca. 1910]) (1 sheet ([1] p.), 16 cm.) -- [7]. The Curtis Indian pictures ([Seattle? : Curtis Studio?, ca. 1907] (1 sheet ([1] p.), 14 x 21 cm.).

Owen Craig Luck Photographs of the Occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota (WA Photos 336)

Link to the Orbis Record

Overview: Photographs created by Owen Luck of individuals and events surrounding the armed occupation by Oglala Dakota Indians, American Indian Movement, and their allies of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation, South Dakota, 1973. Images document ceremonies and gatherings, men holding rifles and manning roadblocks, the arrival of negotiators from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America and the federal government, and government military forces. Other images shows a group in the doorway of the courthouse during the arraignment of prisoners and Tom Bad Cobb in the street outside the jail, both in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Richard Henry Pratt Papers (WA MSS S-1174)

Link to the finding aid for this collection in Archives at Yale

Overview: The papers primarily relate to Richard Henry Pratt’s work and theories on education as a means of assimilating Native Americans into white American society. This is documented in correspondence, letter-press books, writings, diaries, notes, and photographs. Also included are papers relating to Pratt’s family, responses to Pratt’s work, and documentation about his founding and running the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, which removed Native American children from their homes and forced them to assimilate into white American society under the guise of providing education. The papers also include ledger art by Etahdleuh Doanmoe (Kiowa), drawings by other unidentified Native American artists, and photographs both of Native American subjects more broadly and of children at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Collection materials used in class session:

  • Box 24: Sketchbooks of drawings of Indian prisoners at St. Augustine, Florida, 1875-1878.

A view of the proposed constitution of the United States, as agreed to by the Convention of delegates from several states at Philadelphia, the 17th day of September, 1787--compared with the present confederation... (Oka46 787n)

Link to the Catalog record in Orbis

Overview: Published-- Philadelphia : Printed by R. Aitken & son, at Pope's head, in Market street, 1787.

Constitution and Articles of confederation given in parallel columns.

Delaronde Family Papers (WA MSS S-2779)

Link to the Orbis Record for this collection

Overview: The material consists of correspondence and other papers created and accumulated by members of the DeLaronde family (especially Joseph DeLaronde and his son Paul) of Caughnawaga (Kahnawake), Quebec in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The papers document two aspects of the family's activities: the trade of Mohawk beadwork throughout the Western United States (1886-1908), and a land dispute on the Mohawk reservation involving the family's land (1912-1929). Correspondence and other papers from 1912 to 1929 document the disposition of Joseph DeLaronde's estate after his death in 1908, and various disputes over title and mortgages on portions of land owned by the DeLaronde family. Includes 25 letters in the Mohawk language.