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Don't Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860-1975 Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; First Printing edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816523916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816523917
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Her voice is a pleasure to listen to—kind, observant, with a this-too-shall-pass quality." —Los Angeles Times"Readers will find her unaffected honesty as enlightening as it is refreshing." —San Diego Union-Tribune"This outstanding account of an Apache woman remembering her family stories is a gem." —CHOICE Magazine“Her voice rings so clearly in the stories about three generations of her family that reading her words is almost as good as sitting at her kitchen table.” —Western Historical Quarterly

From the Inside Flap

When the Apache wars ended in the late nineteenth century, a harsh and harrowing time began for the Western Apache people. Living under the authority of nervous Indian agents, pitiless government-school officials, and menacing mounted police, they knew that resistance to American authority would be foolish. But some Apache families did resist in the most basic way they could: they resolved to endure. Although Apache history has inspired numerous works by non-Indian authors, Apache people themselves have been reluctant to comment at length on their own past. Eva Tulene Watt, born in 1913, now shares the story of her family from the time of the Apache wars to the modern era, particularly offering a wealth of observations about the early part of the twentieth century--a dark and turbulent time when the Apaches' treatment as wards of the U.S. government left much to be desired. The largest body of historical accounts yet set down by a White Mountain Apache person, Mrs. Watt's narrative presents a view of history that differs fundamentally from conventional approaches, which have almost nothing to say about the daily lives of Apache men and women, their values and social practices, and the singular abilities that enabled them to survive. In a voice that is spare, factual, and unflinchingly direct, Mrs. Watt reveals how the Western Apaches carried on in the face of poverty, hardship, and disease. Her interpretation of her people's past is a diverse assemblage of recounted events, biographical sketches, and cultural descriptions that bring to life a vanished time and the men and women who lived it to the fullest. We share her and her family's travels and troubles. We learn how the Apache people struggled daily to find work, shelter, food, health, laughter, solace, and everything else that people in any community seek. We also gain new insight into how events such as the Great Depression and World War II affected the Apaches--and a new appreciation of the changing face of America as seen from a non-mainstream perspective. Richly illustrated with more than 50 photographs, Don't Let the Sun Step Over You is a rare and remarkable book that affords a view of the past that few have seen before--a wholly Apache view, unsettling yet uplifting, which weighs upon the mind and educates the heart. It is an exceptional work in Native American culture, history, and historiography that will be of lasting value not only to scholars in a wide range of disciplines but also to general readers interested in Native American lifeways. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Apache mom on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
What was awesome about the book was the history...the places she talks about the storis she told. As a member of the White Mountain Apache living in Indiana with my four boys it made them proud of their heritage and as each of them read out loud the look on each of their faces as Eva describes places on the reservation they knew the exact place she was talking about. Their great grandma who is still alive in Whiteriver use to tell them a lot of similiar stories Eva talks about, the Soldiers in Fort Apache, and just life in general in the early 1900's seeing it in print just made the experience of reading the book as a family was just awesome!! as my 6 year old stated when we asked if he liked the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I first found this book in a bookstore in Pinetop, AZ. I picked it up because it sounded interesting. Later I found out, from my grandparents that Eva was a distant relative to me. She mentions her uncles, one of them is John Lupe; my great-great grandfather. I loved this book and was completely taken in by her stories. This book has become a treasure to me and the rest of my family's members.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a verbatim transcription of Mrs. Watt's interviews and stories of Apache life after the end of the Indian Wars and the modern reservation period. It is both an oral history and a revelation of Apache culture, tradition, belief, and lifestyle. As a person who has Apache friends and has enjoyed the opportunity to do volunteer work and teach college classes on the San Carlos Reservation, it was delightful to read the story in the Apache accented English, with it's distinctive word usage and cadence. It was also exciting to get a glimpse of Apache home life from her childhood, before the traditional lifestyle was diluted by the reservation, technology, and the influence of American society.

Keith H. Basso, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at UNM, has done a masterful job of allowing the story to be a truly Apache story both in viewpoint and the enigmatic way of the Apache to leave some things unsaid but implied. There are a few places in the narration where he adds a bit of explanation, but most clarification is given in end notes at the end of the book. This is certainly not a typical scholarly paper, but an accurate engaging real life story of drama, humor, love, hardship, and survival all told in Eva Watt's upbeat and energetic style. This book was fun to read, yet in a number of places inspired me to do more research on things that were not major events in the story, but opened questions I wanted to answer. A great book on several levels, this "good read" is now a valuable part of my research library.
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By Joel Tulene Case on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is spectacular in all aspects from beginning to end, I was glued, never wanting to put it down. I did not know much of my family's past until this book in which my Great-Great-Aunt Eva Tulene narrated. Don't Let The Sun Step Over You gave me a lot of insight to where My family and I have come from.
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I saw this book as a rare insight to a different culture. Worth the time to read. Not a quick read.
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Don't Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860-1975
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