you very much for the piece on me and my book, The Zuni Enigma,
in the "Alumni Newsmakers" section of the October/00
Magazine. Although the general outline of my life and the
book are accurate, a few facts need correction:
entered the anthropology graduate program in 1957 (not 1959),
in time to take Robert Redfield's last core course in social anthropology.
It was that course and his directive to diagram the Zuni social,
religious, and political organization that led to my later discovery
of the Zuni-Japanese connection.
I delighted in playing the organs on campus, I was only a beginning
student; I did not serve as organist at Bond and Rockefeller Chapels.
Japanese I learned while in Chicago was not really related to
my job in special services at Marshall Field's where I was a secretary
and receptionist: I just filled in spare time memorizing words-inspired
by a very accomplished Japanese organist who was also studying
at the U of C.
year I drove from Anchorage to Chicago to present my draft thesis-on
the Zuni-Japanese linguistic relationship-was 1961. This was the
thesis that was rejected, not the later one on an Indian village
which led, finally, to my master's degree in 1965.
I was the only woman teaching full time on the faculty at Alaska
Methodist University in 1960, I wasn't the only woman teaching
in Anchorage universities in the 1970s. By then other women were
employed, and many of them also had difficult times. Finally,
at Stanford, I surely wanted to teach in a classroom, but I didn't.
There I was a visiting scholar doing library research on the book.
lonely time on the U of C campus surely tested my mettle, but
also provided an unusually broad foundation for a startling new
discovery-and a book 40 years later. Take heart, young scholars-and
hang on to those new ideas.
Yaw Davis, AM'85