Papago Woman

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Papago Woman, written by Ruth M. Underhill, is an ethnography of the life of a native american woman named Maria Chona, a member of the Southern Arizona Papago people located right outside of Tucson, Arizona on a reservation. Ruth lived among the Papago from 1931 till 1933. She studied the life of the Papago with her main subject an older Papago woman named Chona. She says at one point how she learned amongst these people and Chona, “I feel, nevertheless, that out of all this flurry there came the story as it had appeared in Chona's mind,” (27). By hearing the life of this Papago woman she learned about life as a Papago. To collect data about the Papago way of life and Chona, Ruth Underhill asked many questions. She was very forward with…show more content…
Before dinner began, the ways of child-rearing were viewed. The youngest son of Lilliat was told to “Shut the door,” and was not praised but instead allowed to sit on the men's side of the table. As dinner went on Ruth observed more and more of the Papago customs. Strangers were studied very carefully to see their true selves. Bedtime was early and the bed was on the ground. Early rising is custom of Papago because, “Papagos had learned how to deal with the sun and did not hate or fear it. Those who slept past the dawn light were set down as hopeless drones,” (Underhill 14). The day begin when men went to fill the water tanks. The water was shared and not thrown out with the guest being the first to use it. Women set to work with the meals for the day and basket-making. Later that day, a girl named Vela who could speak a little bit of english visited. She promised to help Ruth with translations. Ruth realized that her persistent questioning had been seen as ignorant and embarrassing to Chona. The women told Ruth about their job to bring the clouds to make rain. She soon discovered they would be taking a trip to gather cactus fruit to prepare wine for the rain festival. They rode to the sahuaro cactus to gather the pear-ish fruit. Ruth again learned about Coyote and I'itoi. “When I'itoi was furnishing the earth, he thought he would put sahuaro all over. Then everyone could have fruit without too much walking. But Coyote, he doesn't like
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