Read Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre by James F. Brooks Online


The Hopi community of Awat’ovi existed peacefully on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa for generations until one bleak morning in the fall of 1700—raiders from nearby Hopi villages descended on Awat’ovi, slaughtering their neighboring men, women, and children. While little of the pueblo itself remains, five centuries of history lie beneath the low rises of sandstone masonry, and theThe Hopi community of Awat’ovi existed peacefully on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa for generations until one bleak morning in the fall of 1700—raiders from nearby Hopi villages descended on Awat’ovi, slaughtering their neighboring men, women, and children. While little of the pueblo itself remains, five centuries of history lie beneath the low rises of sandstone masonry, and theories about the events of that night are as persistent as the desert winds. The easternmost town on Antelope Mesa, Awat’ovi was renowned for its martial strength, and had been the gateway to the entire Hopi landscape for centuries. Why did kinsmen target it for destruction?Drawing on oral traditions, archival accounts, and extensive archaeological research, James Brooks unravels the story and its significance. Mesa of Sorrows follows the pattern of an archaeological expedition, uncovering layer after layer of evidence and theories. Brooks questions their reliability and shows how interpretations were shaped by academic, religious and tribal politics. Piecing together three centuries of investigation, he offers insight into why some were spared—women, mostly, and taken captive—and others sacrificed. He weighs theories that the attack was in retribution for Awat’ovi having welcomed Franciscan missionaries or for the residents’ practice of sorcery, and argues that a perfect storm of internal and external crises revitalized an ancient cycle of ritual bloodshed and purification.A haunting account of a shocking massacre, Mesa of Sorrows is a probing exploration of how societies confront painful histories, and why communal violence still plagues us today....

Title : Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393061253
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre Reviews

  • Max Carmichael
    2019-05-31 18:52

    It's possible to extract some good information from this opaque and confusing correlation of the archaeological, ethnographic, and historical records, but Brooks mucks up the account so much with his nonlinear, repetitive, over-literary presentation that he ultimately fails to achieve his stated aim of making the Awat'ovi story relevant in a broader anthropological or sociological context.Nonlinear narratives have a place in literature, but Brooks could have shed more light on Hopi history in a much shorter, conventionally structured book, without all the repetitive temporal circling and zigzagging. And if he really wanted to demonstrate the broader relevance of Hopi communal violence, he could have cast a wider net and integrated the contemporaneous histories of the many contrasting societies the Puebloan peoples were in contact with both in and surrounding the greater Southwest: from the Navajo, Apache, Ute, Southern Paiute, Havasupai, Hualapai, Mojave and Yavapai, to the colonial Spanish and Anglo-American.

  • Kevin Schroder
    2019-06-10 00:03

    A book only for people who are interested in the details of SW indigenous cultures. The word "history" here can be misleading as the subject is more about the way in which the massacre is part of a recurring pattern of dramatic ends to communities in the Hopi Pueblo--both in ways bloody and in ways which are civil--and that these ends relate to a cultural template of cyclical degeneration, regeneration, and societal resilience produced via splitting and re-combining of populations. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of Pueblo culture so the timeline of the book is more elliptical than most history books which tend to be written in a chronological order. Lots of interesting detail. An impressive work of scholarship.

  • Steve Comstock
    2019-06-03 01:43

    Fascinating subject, poor execution. Full of grammatical errors and repetitive, I was disappointed.

  • Jenni V.
    2019-06-26 23:02

    The description of the book, both from reading the summary and listening to the author speak at a reading, didn't match what I actually read. It's not necessarily a bad thing but it was dryer than I expected after his engaging talk about his research and I didn't get the deeper layers of how this applies to the present day that he alluded to in the summary. There were some typos which surprised me since he's a professor, especially with using "there" instead of "their" occasionally.He mentioned a way people used to determine if a woman was a witch that was new to me. They would measure her tongue...apparently witches' were shorter than average.A Few Quotes from the Book"In the Euro-American mind, history marches from past to present. Each event - birth, death, marriage, divorce, war and peace - accrues in a sequence that shapes the next in knowable ways, although their precise relation may prove elusive. We attend to the past to better comprehend our present. Yet, invert this. What is our present were already active in our past? What if our present is nothing more than a past foretold? This swirl of cause and effect, effect as cause, not linear but cyclical and untethered from western time, more closely captures the way many Hopis understood (and understand) the ruination of Awat'ovi Pueblo.""The present troubles the ghosts of the past."Find all my reviews at:

  • Darcia Helle
    2019-06-18 01:44

    I was looking forward to reading this book. I wish I could say that I loved it, but I really didn't, not at all. In fact, I had trouble slogging through the pages. To start with, the subtitle - A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre - implies a narrow focus. That subtitle turns out to be misleading. I was surprised by how little attention the Awat'ovi Massacre received within these pages. This book turns into something more akin to a broad history of the Hopis. The events here span from well before 1300 all the way up through the early 1900s. Much of the content focuses on the 1800s, into the 1900s, when the Awat'ovi Massacre took place all the way back in 1700. The scope of information feels too ambitious, particularly for a book that sits at just 222 pages, discounting the notes and bibliography.Then there is the timeline, which is anything but linear. We zigzag back and forth, and around and about, spanning centuries, with no cohesion to the storyline. Finally, the content, for me, felt jumbled and disjointed. We jump from internecine warfare to superstitions to archaeological digs to Christianity and the Franciscans, then back to warfare, and soon we're on to village life, and then back to religion. The whole thing made me dizzy.The author does offer some interesting detail about Awat'ovi specifically, and the Native American culture in general. For me, though, the structure of the book made this a difficult read.

  • Samantha
    2019-06-18 22:42

    Very interesting story of the massacre at Awat'ovi and the circumstances, myths, and legends that surround it. By and large, the narrative was crafted in a very compelling manner, shifting focus not only between the massacre and the events leading up to it, but also moving ahead in time to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as archeologists and anthropologists tried to make sense of what happened to the Awat'ovi village in 1700. The book draws upon a variety of sources, including ethnographies, archeological records, and oral histories, all of which help reveal facets of the society that existed and the scholarly/ anthropological understanding of that society. My primary gripe with the book was that parts of the argument did not feel fully explored, and many interesting details were mentioned and then dropped.

  • Georgene
    2019-06-04 22:55

    An interesting book which traces the history of the decimation of a Hopi village in 1700. This incident is traced from its origins in the Hopi culture to the reverberations that have echoed down to the present time. Relying on Spanish texts from the period, archaeology and oral traditions of current Hopi tribesmen, the author seeks to find a reason why a village was wiped from existence by its neighboring villages, which were populated by relations of the inhabitants of the targeted village. An interesting book that is well worth reading!

  • Troy Myers
    2019-06-26 22:50

    Very detailed history of one event and perhaps why it occurred. Explores the Hopi and other Pueblo people's history. Gave me a greater understanding of this region and people in America. It was well researched and written.

  • Thomas Stama
    2019-06-25 23:51

    Fascinating book on archeology of the Hopi's as well as this particular site.You begin to understand the relationships between the Hopi and the Rio Grand Pueblo peoples and the other native Americans. Also you can begin to understand the Spanish intrusion.

  • Beverly
    2019-06-01 21:00

    The story being told was interesting, but the way it was told was fairly aggravating. A history book that not only wasn't told in a linear fashion - more of a spiral - but that also didn't seem to really have a solid point

  • Beth
    2019-05-31 20:48

    Library recall that I finally finished in May.

  • Eladia Rivera
    2019-06-08 20:50

    IF you are really interested in Hopi history and archaeology this is an engaging book. If not, it may be too in depth for the average reader.

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-06-26 18:03

    Reviewed by The Slate