8 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2018
    1. We are giving another barbecue for the children Friday and a dance in the evening.

      Marjorie writes of yet another occasion where the school holds dances for indigenous children around the same time as the Apache dances.

    2. All Apaches wear their hair straight down there [sic] back men as well altho all the young one have it cut now.

      The act of Apache men wearing their hair long is portrayed as disappearing within a generation. Secondly, Marjorie implies that the young Apache students are separate “all Apaches” and less indigenous because of this.

    1. By the way Mr. Culver is not a single bit Indian. He was born in Kansas but I think his home is now in Colorado. He is a very decided blonde.

      Despite questioning the Pappan's American Indian credentials, Marjorie Bates shows here that she has at least some vague idea of what an "Indian" is to her. At the very least, she has an image in mind of what an "Indian" is not, so as to ensure that it never overlaps with her understanding of whiteness.

    2. They have some Indian blood in them but you would never know it.

      Almost as soon as she says they have "Indian blood," she coils back from the statement. Marjorie Bates has an image in mind of what a American Indians look like and when the Pappans fail to meet that expectation, she is suspect of it. Throughout her letters, we see this pattern of setting up rhetorical barriers so that she rarely if ever interacts with a "real" American Indian in her eyes.

    3. Mr. Pappan is the disciplinaryan [sic] here. [3] He is a 32nd Mason.

      She prefaces telling her mom about the Pappan's indigenous ancestry by pointing his role in enforcing school rules as disciplinarian and his status in the community as a Freemason.

    4. You could have the store sent them to me, special delivery as we want them as soon as possible. The Pappans have been very nice to me.

      While Marjorie Bates likely intended these sentences to simply explain her rush to get a gift, it quickly turns into her defending the moral character of the Pappans.

    1. They built two corals one for calves + one for steers. On the side nearest the road was the line of autos, on the other side were the cow boys [sic] about 75 or 100 and a lot of Indian squaws sat down at the end of them. A lot of the cow boys were Indians

      At a rodeo, in this passage, Marjorie describes cowboys as mostly American Indians standing across the road from automobiles, suggesting that the horse is already an outmoded means of travel.

      This also goes starkly against the image of the cowboy as a white, horseback-riding male loner. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that many of the American Indian women that Marjorie Bates saw were family to the cowboys.

  2. Apr 2018
    1. Here, Marjorie is likely referring to a Navajo rug. She mentions explicitly using these rugs as gifts frequently, as in her May 12, June 6, and June 19, 1924 letters.

      In each case, she alludes to these rugs only briefly, possibly suggesting how obvious to her their potential as souvenirs and "unique" decor was.