New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1884. 8vo, xvi, [ii], 371 pp. First. Complete with half-title, frontispiece, and 33 plates (1 folding). Original publisher’s gilt-pictorial cloth, corners slightly worn; first few pages detached, text slightly toned but otherwise clean and bright. A very good copy with bookplates from the Hon. Theodore Marburg and the Johns Hopkins Club. Item #15138
First edition of the fascinating narrative of Bourke’s journey from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Arizona to observe and describe the manners, customs, and rituals of the Moqui Indians (today more commonly known as the Hopi Indians). This work is the first publication to describe the mysterious Snake-Dance in its entirety and from a relatively objective point of view. Bourke includes a short discussion on serpent worship in general. Intended for popular perusal rather than scholarly insight, Bourke’s prose is witty, vivid and engaging. He also details other aspects of the Moqui tribe, such as the status of wives, the role of children, pottery and bead work, and the practice of ancestor worship.
Bourke (1846-1896) was a United States Army Captain, ethnologist, and author who is best known for his study of and works on the American West. His time in the 3rd United States Cavalry allowed him the means to study the habits and customs of many western Indian tribes.
Provenance: This volume was owned by the Honorable Theodore Marburg (1862-1946), American Ambassador to Belgium and internationally acclaimed proponent of world peace who was instrumental in the development of the League of Nations following World War I.