By Blanche C. Grant
Santa Fe New Mexican Publishing Company, Taos
Soft Cover, first edition, 1925. 127 pages, illustrated. Autographed by author
“Every now and then, some one, pencil in hand, comes to Taos, stays a few days, bent on questioning the Indians. Usually he puts his queries in the form of positive statements. To these the red man gives an easy affirmative. Then the stranger hurries away believing he knows all about the Indian. Not long ago, one of the older men was heard to give such answers. ‘What did you tell that fellow all those lies for, Hohn,’ said a bystander later. ‘Oh,’ said the Indian with a faint smile. ‘He likes it.’
“Another Indian said quite frankly to me one day, ‘If you get it right, they will say it is not true.’ Sill another Indian came to town and asserted positively, ‘Miss Grant has written a whole lot about us that isn’t true at all.’ I had not yet written a single line of this study of the Taos Indians. So it is with some timidity that even a long-time resident speaks of our Indians.
“There are some of the better educated Indians who believe it will be well if there be written down the truth about their people. The majority, however, are sure that their history sent own orally from generation to generation is all that is necessary to preserve the story of their forefathers for themselves. As for the rest of the world, why need they care? Of the change that comes to all people under the American flag they reek but little. They do not see the signs, though their wisest men are often forced to say, ‘We do not know.’ A young Indian, when telling a story not long ago, ended by saying, ‘You see my grandfather tried to tell my father but he did not want to listen. So he told the story to me and I was only a little boy. I can not remember it all.’
“So much is slipping away that should be caught in hard print. Such has been my self-appointed task. Every possible care has been taken to cull the truth. Indian, Anglo, and Spanish Americans have all assisted me and for obvious reasons I am not at liberty to name them, but I believe their words worthy of credence.
“Crowded into a pit are the scholars, the Indian has the stage. It is his legends, traditions and historic facts I have tried faithfully to present. These are so interwoven in the Indian’s mind that, only with the greatest caution, can one pull from the tangle, the threads which weave themselves into a semblance of truth. Even at best, there may be faults in the weaving.
Blanch C. Grant
Taos, New Mexico
April 30, 1925