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Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry
By Diana F. Pardue, Norman L. Sandfield. Museum of New Mexico Press. 155 pp. Index. $29.95.
Top Pick
As usual, the Museum of New Mexico Press has given us fine publication. This time, it deals with bola ties and their history. It is probably less than seventy years since they have been around, with the name taken from the South American cowboys using Boleaderos (leather straps with weights at the end). Some 172 color photographs show the fine work of Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi artisans including one of cast glass and silver by Tlingit Preston Singletary. There are sections on Hallmarks or signatures of makers, patents, and the story of fittings. The ties are from the collections of the Heard Museum and Norman Sandfield. []
Whether you wish to marvel at beautiful Southwest jewelry or learn the definitive story of this official state necktie of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, this lushly-illustrated book will please you. Produced in cooperation with the Heard Museum in Phoenix, many significant bolo ties, crafts-persons and designs are represented. Primarily made by Hopis or Navajos, these artful and symbolic ties range in design from traditional to comic, commemorative to abstract. Bolo ties deserve your second look. []

Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground
By Randolph Lewis. University of Nebraska Press. 215 pp. Index. $30.00.
Arlene Bowman earned her Master of Fine Arts in motion picture and television from the University of California at Los Angeles. She conceived the idea of filming a documentary featuring the traditional life of her Navajo grandmother. The resulting film was first introduced in 1985. Although it won awards nationally and internationally it received a great deal of criticism since her grandmother often objected to being filmed and Bowman, having been off the reservation for many years no longer shared Navajo culture. She had numerous problems with her project and these became the subject of this book along with analysis of other documentaries by Native people. Unfortunately, One would have to see the film and others like it to get the best of the analysis of a film produced over twenty-five years ago []

New Mexico Art Through Time: Prehistory to Present
By Joseph Traugott. Museum of New Mexico Press. 244 pp. Index. $50.00.
This survey, with more than 200 illustrations, takes the position that change in tastes does not mean that earlier artistic expression is somehow of lesser quality or value. Excellent color reproductions of artworks in large format, prehistory to the present, support Traugott’s presentation. A thorough index includes illustrations and text. []

New Mexico's Living Landscapes: A Roadside View
By William Dunmire. Museum of New Mexico Press. 136 pp. $29.95.
New Mexico is a stunningly beautiful state, with six ecoregions ranging from the Chihuahuan Desert to Montane Forests. Author Dunmire takes us on a visual tour of the state and explains the landscapes as we go. A fun “gotta-go-there” book. []

Nikkei in the Interior West: Japanese Immigration and Community Building 1882-1945
By Eric Walz. University of Arizona Press. 236 pp. Index. $50.00.
In his pioneering study, Walz describes the factors that impelled mostly rural immigrants to leave Japan and attracted them to the intermountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada,(and Nebraska), showing how they formed communities and forged ethnic identities. Arizona's Salt River Valley, in particular, figures prominently in this revealing tale of survival and adaptation. Rich in anecdote and grounded in solid research, Walz's revealing book lays a firm foundation for future examination of Japanese-American contributions to western settlement. []

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