Recovering Voices from the Archives: Indian Prison Rodeo
Oct 19, 2016
I’m in Saint Paul, Minnesota for the Western History Association’s annual conference and to explore the archives at the Minnesota Historical Society related to the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee (WKLDOC for short). It’s an expansive archive that collects 149 boxes related to the organization that defended participants in the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973.
He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Coming home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door
If you need to get from Albuquerque to Laramie (not that most people would need to), you’d pull out a map and quickly decide to head up I-25 and cut the corner around Cheyenne.
Hell’s brewin' dark sun’s on the rise
This storm’ll blow through by and by
House is on fire, Viper’s in the grass
A little revenge and this too shall pass
This too shall pass, I’m gonna pray
Right now all I got’s this lonesome day
Bruce Springsteen, Lonesome Day
Huge caveat from the get go: I don’t know how useful any of this will be to anyone. For one, there are probably far more elegant ways of doing this whole affair and someone smarter than me has undoubtedly found it. Secondly, if you’re anyone who knows me personally, this is probably all crazy talk.
Peter LaFarge There’s a fair share of rodeo contestants who have parlayed their time in rodeo into a singing career. Probably most notable is Chris LeDoux, one of the inspirations for Oklahoma State’s own Garth Brooks, who won the 1976 bareback championship at the National Finals Rodeo and sold records out of his truck at rodeo events in the hopes of supporting his rodeo career.
Gardiner, Eileen and Ronald G. Musto. The Digital Humanities: A Primer for Students and Scholars. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
No grad student would blink twice about seeing a book from 2005 on the list of assigned reading for a class. Yet because of the pace of technology over the last decade, Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig’s milestone book Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web is far more outdated than most other academic monographs published that year.
I really enjoyed Clinton Girkin’s blog post on his experiences navigating through various archives, both digital and analog, looking for materials related to our larger women in rodeo archive. While I admit I’ve been behind most of the semester, and have not gotten nearly as much done as I had planned (best laid plans…) I have explored a few avenues looking for sources for both this site and the women in rodeo project.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I was lucky enough to be accepted to present some of my dissertation research at the American Society for Ethnohistory’s 2015 conference in Las Vegas at the Tropicana hotel. I know it’s a hard life, and to break the cardinal rule of Las Vegas, everything that happened there is going on this blog.
According to Alexa, the English language version of Wikipedia is the seventh ranked site on the Internet and the only vaguely academic site besides the omnipotent Google on the list. Yet even though Wikipedia and its five million articles have become a ubiquitous part of how we figure out the answer to life’s vexing questions, most people know little about how the content actually gets on Wikipedia.
Iverson, Peter. When Indians Became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
Even growing up in suburban Connecticut, where the closest you got to a cowboy was attending a football game involving the Dallas Cowboys, we still invariably played Cowboys and Indians at some point.