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 Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 09:43:59 EDT From: Makeda4@aol.com Subject: Re: Query: First Female N.A. Archaeologist Jack Forbes is also alive and well. He is professor emeritus at UC Davis. Here is his webpage. Perhaps he can help. Also, the American Indian Quarterly published an article on Ella Deloria entitled "Different By Degree: Ella Cara Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, and Franz Boas Contend with Race and Ethnicity." Spring 2001 Vol. 25 No. 2. Arica Coleman, ABD The Union Institute and University  Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 16:15:57 -0400 From: Margaret Bruchac <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: First Female Native Archaeologist The first female Native American archaeologist was, I believe, Arthur Parker's daughter, Bertha (Yeawas) Parker, who passed in 1978. Her nickname was "Birdie." Much has been written about Arthur Caswell Parker (1881-1955), a Seneca of about 1/8 Indian ancestry, who grew up on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation with his Seneca mother and Scottish/English father (e.g. see _Parker on the Iroquois_, edited and introduced by William N. Fenton, Syracuse University Press 1968). Virtually no scholarship, however, has focused on Parker's wife, an Abenaki woman named Beulah Tahamont (1887-1945), who was an influential person in her own right. In a review of the published works on Parker, and the finding guides to his papers at the New York State Archives and the University of Rochester, the focus is overwhelmingly on his work among the Iroquois. Jack Campisi's biography of Parker for the _Encyclopedia of North American Indians_, like most other writings about any by Parker, curiously omits any mention of his wife and children. As an adult, Bertha Parker did her professional work as an associate in ethnology and archaeology at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, California, where she focused on collecting the oral traditions and material culture of California's Native peoples. Her publications for the museum under her married name of Bertha Parker Cody include: • 1937. "A Maidu Myth of the Creation of Indian Women" Masterkey 13:83. • 1940. California Indian Baby Cradles. Southwest Museum Leaflets 12. • 1940. "California Indian Baby Cradles." Masterkey, 14(3):89-96. • 1940. "Pomo Bear Impersonators." Masterkey 14(4):132-137. • 1941. "Gold Ornaments of Ecuador," Masterkey, 15(3):87-95. Without further research, I cannot yet say where Bertha Parker had her educational training, but it should be noted that she first became famous, not in academia, but in theatrical pursuits. That interest continued throughout her long marriage to her second husband, the infamous Iron Eyes Cody (born Oscar Espera DeCorti 1904-1999). During the 1950s, Bertha Parker and Iron Eyes Cody hosted a popular California television program on Native American Indian history and folklore, and were often called in as technical advisers and wardrobe experts for Hollywood films. Bertha's expertise in the film industry came, not from her husband, but from her parents, who were stars a generation earlier. If we reckon the ancestry of Bertha Parker, by blood, she is half Abenaki and no more than 1/16 Seneca; if we reckon by matrilineal descent, she is entirely Abenaki. As a child actress, she self-identified exclusively as Abenaki Indian. It's a shame that Bertha never focused her ethnological research on the northeast, given the fascinating connections and careers of her relatives. Here are just a few tidbits, from a much larger research project I've been working on for several years, under the working title "Adirondack Abenakis on Stage:" The Tahamont family had deep roots in two thriving Abenaki communities: Odanak (also known as St. Francis, Quebec, Canada) and Lake George and Indian Lake, New York. Bertha Parker's mother, Beulah Tahamont, was the daughter of Elijah Tahamont and Margaret Camp of Lake George, NY, and great-granddaughter of Sabeal, the Wabanaki Indian for whom "Indian Lake" was named. Beulah Tahamont's mother, Margaret Camp, was the granddaughter of Louis Otondosonne Watso, a famous Abenaki "Indian Doctor" who fought in the War of 1812, doctored people from Deerfield, MA to Saratoga Springs, NY, retired to Lake George and lived to the age of 108. Bertha's great grandfather, Elijah Tahamont Sr., came down from Odanak (St. Francis, Quebec, Canada) to attend Dartmouth College from 1843-1848, where President Lord described him as "worthy but unintelligent." Bertha's grandfather, Elijah Tahamont Jr., willingly went to Carlisle School to learn how to navigate American society. Elijah Tahamont Jr. later took the stage name "Chief Darkcloud." He was featured, in western-Plains style regalia, in "Les Abénakis d'Odanak" by Thomas M. Charland, Editions du Lévrion, Montreal, 1964: > "If there were such a thing as a beauty show for men, few white men > would stand any chance for the prize against a certain full-blooded > American Indian now living in New York city. This man is Tahamont, > a brave of the Abenaki tribe of Indians, who is regarded by artists as > almost a perfect specimen of manly beauty, both in face and figure... > Tahamont is greatly in demand as an artist's model and receives, it is > said, the highest price for posing paid to any male model. His face and > figure are familiar to thousands who see the illustrations in the prominent > weekly papers. E.W. Deming, De Conta Smith and Frederick Remington > are among the well known artists who draw from him" (Charland 1964:65). The photographs of Bertha's grandfather Elijah and her aunt Bessie, now posted on-line, give you some idea why the family was in such great demand as models. I find it deeply ironic that eastern Indians, who were, at the time, imagined to have "vanished," were actually doing the posing for Remington's famous paintings of western Indians. http://www.avcnet.org/ne-do-ba/pic_tah1.html http://www.americancenturies.mass.edu/turns/view.jsp?itemid=13058&subthemeid=19 Beulah Tahamont apparently divorced Arthur Parker and remarried. She passed away in 1945, survived by her second husband, T.W. Filson, her daughter Bertha Parker Cody, and her son, Melville A. Parker. Her obituary, published in the Mercury-Register, Oroville, California, January 4, 1946, reads in part as follows: > "A former actress, Mrs. Filson was known professionally as Beulah > Darkcloud. She started her stage career as a child of four. She > attended public schools and college in Montreal, Canada. Mrs. Filson's > father, Chief Darkcloud [Elijah Tahamont], was brought to Hollywood > in 1912 by D. W. Griffith. He starred in motion pictures and was well > known as a lecturer on Indian lore, touring roadshow and circus circuits. > As a young woman, Beulah Darkcloud was active in Los Angeles American > Indian Clubs. She produced and directed many pageants, the most notable > of which was "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers," one of the first > plays produced in the Hollywood Bowl. > > Failing health as the result of a serious accident forced her to retire > from professional life 17 years ago. Following her retirement she > accompanied her daughter, Mrs. Bertha P[arker] Cody, writer and associate > in ethnology of S. W. Museum, on her ethnological expeditions, aiding > in the collecting of data on the lore, mythology, and early history > of the California Indians." I'm certain there's a story that would explain why Bertha Parker chose to remain in California to pursue a career in archaeology and ethnography studying California Indians, rather than return to her northeastern roots, but I hesitate to "anthropologize" her by jumping to any conclusions, without consulting her surviving family members. Suffice to say that Bertha Tahamont Parker Cody is a fascinating example of a Native American woman in early anthropology, dancing (literally) across cultures. Marge Bruchac PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst Five College Fellow, Amherst College