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Prof. Bsumek's book Indian Made wins book award from Historical Society of New Mexico

Assistant Professor Erika Bsumek's book, "Indian Made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1868–1940" has been selected as the 2009 winner of the Ralph Emerson Twitchell Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico (HSNM) for its significant contribution to the field of history.

Posted: June 5, 2009
Prof. Erika Bsumek and detail from

Prof. Erika Bsumek and detail from "Indian Made" book cover

Bsumek's book questions the ongoing stereotype about American Indians. Her book delves into the significance of what "Indian-made" means, the complex ties that come into play in Indian identity, and the effects of the significant growth of tourism in the Southwest.

The HSNM was founded in 1859 and is the oldest historical society west of the Mississippi River. At its yearly conferences, it awards those individuals and groups that have contributed to the field of New Mexico History and Historic Preservation.

Ralph Emerson Twitchell was an eminent attorney for Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. He was a member of the HSNM from its earliest conception and even served as its president in 1924.

He was an avid reader and writer of New Mexico history. In fact, it was such a passion for him that it sometimes took precedence over his responsibilities as an attorney for the railroad. He saw a common thread between the study of law and history. Of all his writings, his two-volume book published in 1911 and 1912 Leading Facts in New Mexico History was considered the most definitive publication on New Mexico history for generations.

He has been quoted as having said, "The writer of history, in his presentation of events occurring during a given period, may be compared to the lawyer in the preparation and presentation of a case...So the historical writer should not be merely a narrator, chronicler.... He should be the lawyer, the advocate, the painter, the artist evolving an historical picture for the mind and creating impressions which result in conclusions."

Related Links:
More about Assistant Professor Erika Bsumek
Historical Society of New Mexico Award Recipients

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