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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part I
([1904])

Reports concerning Indians in Arizona,   pp. 131-155 PDF (12.5 MB)


Page 140

140          REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN ARIZONA. 
General observations.-In spite of investigations instituted by well-meaning
but 
misled people, in spite of interferences by outsiders who desire the Indian
to remain 
in his filth and degradation, progress is going on surely, if slowly. Better
and cleaner 
homes are in evidence, better and more civilized clothing is worn, larger
houses with 
good doors and glass windows are being builded by the Indians with their
own money 
and labor, the medicine man is disappearing, the dances are decreasing, and
all in 
all I know there is some hope for the Moqui. Several young Indians will vote
this 
coming election, being able to fulfill every requirement of the law. They
can read 
and speak well the English language, they can hold their own in commercial
pur- 
suits, they can make a good living for themselves and their families, and
why should 
they not vote? 
I desire to thank my loyal corps of employees for faithfulness during the
year. To 
the Indian Office I am grateful for many kindnesses and warm approval of
my work 
and for support in my many exasperating experiences during the year. 
Respectfully submitted. 
CHARLES E. BURTON, 
Superintendent and Acting United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
REPORT OF FIELD MATRON AT ORAIBI. 
ORAIBI, ARIZ.,    -, 1904. 
SIR: I entered upon my duties as field matron at Oraibi on November 15, 1903,
after having taught 
for seven and one-half months in the day school here. 
There have been many drawbacks and discouragements in the work. Chief among
them is the 
filthiness of the village. These people occupy the houses of their forefathers,
and filth and debris 
have collected about them until the village is in a very unsanitary condition.
We have had several 
cleanings, but this is far from satisfactory, as some refuse to sweep, saying,
"This is the Oraibi way 
and this is the way we want it." Their dirt soon blows over before the
houses of the friendly people 
who have made an effort to clean. Sweeping the streets is difficult and discouraging,
owing to the 
accumulation of the dust of years above bed rock. After a woman sweeps she
is obliged to put the 
dirt in a shawl or blanket and carry this away on her back. No wonder they
leave behind the loose 
stones. The mesa is wide and the garbage is simply thrown outside the village
instead of being 
thrown over the cliff. Great unsightly dump heaps lie on the outskirts of
the village. The proper 
and thorough cleansing of the streets is a problem which, so far, I have
been unable to solve. It 
would be a vast undertaking, even if the indifference of the people were
overcome. Sometimes I am 
inclined to think a public garbage wagon under the direction of the field
matron for the removal of 
rubbish and sweepings would be a great blessing. About the kevas, the public
places, as it were, 
which do not come close to the houses, are the most difficult places to get
cleaned. The men regard 
street cleaning as the women's business. The Hopi themselves say if there
were no dogs the streets 
would not be so dirty, but still they are not willing to part with their
dogs. The extermination of 
the dogs would be an undisguised blessing. 
I should very much like to see several public closets built along the edges
of the mesa. It is my 
opinion that they would be used. 
Of all the sad sights to be seen among the people the most pitiful cases
are of those who have been 
returned from the boarding schools to die. Any of the sick suffer for greater
comforts, but the 
condition of those who have been away to the schools, and who have been accustomed
to the 
comforts of a good bed, cleanliness, and decency is very pitiful. I wish
to commend the efforts of 
the missionary, Rev. J. B. Frey, and his assistant, Miss Harms, intheir effortsto
alleviate the sufferings 
of the sick. 
I wish the Department could realize the influence of some of the tourists
who come here. Their 
own costumes have a very demoralizing effect and they encourage the Hopi
in wearing their hair 
long and clinging to Hopi clothing, customs, and superstitions. 
The great need of the field matron and of the people has not yet been supplied-a
washhouse, 
where the women can wash their clothing and bathe themselves and their small
children. I hope 
the Department will endeavor to supply this great need in the near future.
There are two features which render the outlook for the coming year more
encouraging-the 
creation of a physician's position here and the completon of a substantial
cottage, which affords a 
comfortable home for the matron and a suitable sewing room for the Hopi women.
During the winter I made garments for m~y of the old women and small children.
The majority 
of them, however, wear the the American clothing only a portion of the time.
Teaching the women 
to sew is not an easy matter. The men do the sewing and the women prefer
that they should do so. 
I have, however, instructed some of the women in sewing, also in the making
of bread with yeast, 
and in the care of the sick and the babies. I am looking forward to greater
usefulness among them 
as I acquire more of their language and am settled in a permanent home, which
can be conveniently 
visited by the Nvomen. 
I desire to acknowledge the kindness and courtesy shown me by Supt. Charles
E. Burton, and also 
the kindly and helpful cooperation of Mr. Glenn C. Lawrence, principal of
Oraibi day school. 
Yours, very respectfully, 
MILTONA M. KEITH, 
Field Matron. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 


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