The Delight Makers by Adolf F. Bandelier (1890)
A novel about Pueblo Indian koshare clowns
Last month I launched this Complete Book series with the Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. The idea is that books more than about a century old are not covered by copyright law and are therefore in the "public domain." Project Gutenberg was the first major effort to make these available in digital format, but there are now many such undertakings, the best known being Google Books, the least known being my Epson scanner.
Since I am also publishing my old Clowns book on this blog a chapter at a time (I know, I know, I've only done chapters 1 and 5 so far), I thought it would make sense to match up the chapters from my book with any relevant public domain books. In other words, since I recently published chapter one and some supplemental material on it, I am now about to bless you with several free books that have to do with chapter one content: tricksters, fools, and jesters. And no, I don't expect everyone to run out and read all these massive tomes — I've only read about half, and this ain't one of 'em — but I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place. Did I mention they're free?
So... onto The Delight Makers, which comes to you courtesy of the bright folks and scanners at Google.
Adolf Bandelier (1840 —1914) was a pioneering explorer and archaeologist who spent eight years among the Pueblo tribes of the Southwest, and there is even a Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico named after him. The Delight Makers is a novel based on these experiences, centered around the koshare clowns and including 17 photographs.
"Unique in nineteenth-century American literature for its blend of historical romance and scientific observation, The Delight Makers provides in fictional form an invaluable reconstruction of prehistoric Indian culture of the Southwest... It tells the story of the ancestors of the modern Pueblos, the Queres, who are dominated by a powerful secret society called the Koshare or Delight Makers. Rivalry between clans and a conspiracy to accuse a woman of sorcery touch off war with a neighboring tribe, the Tehuas, and lead to the destruction of the Queres settlement." (Prehistoric Fiction Bibliography)
If this subject matter is of particular interest to you, check out the novels of Tony Hillerman, especially Sacred Clowns, as well as some non-fiction books on this topic discussed in this post.
Bandelier — The Delight Makers
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