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Don't Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 18601975 Paperback – September 1, 2004
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"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. Her 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 peopleas 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 familyas 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. Richly illustrated with more than 50 photographs, "Donat Let the Sun Step Over You" is a rare and remarkable book that affords a view of the past that few have seenbefore--a wholly Apache view, unsettling yet uplifting, which weighs upon the mind and educates the heart.
Top customer reviews
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.