Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21, No. 2, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


Wives and Husbands will likely become a classic of ethnographically informed historical anthropology. From the moment distinguished anthropologist Loretta Fowler's work opens with its account of Little Raven and Walking Backward-a brother and sister born in the early nineteenth century who lived to see great changes- to its final pages, which offer at least ten "new lines of research" that scholars might do well to follow to correct errors regarding everything from women's status under change to the "reidentification process" undergone by educated Arapahos returning to their communities, a wide variety of readers will find themselves engaged in a book impossible to put down because of the quality of its writing and its deft instruction at many levels. Fowler's very last line sums up in modest fashion her central message: "These Southern Arapaho stories offer a window onto the way history makes gender and gender makes history."