"In simple, unaffected prose, Mrs. Shaw constructs a moving saga of Native Americans caught between their tribal past and a Europeanized present...Some of the most interesting passages deal with the wrenching realities of Indian life on the reservation in the years around the turn of the century, when the Indian male as a warrior found himself bereft of his very reason for being and forced to endeavor to become a farmer." Journal of Arizona History "A most interesting book...Her account of how the Pima Indians lived, their family structure, how they reared their children, courtship and marriage, how they treated their elders, their religious practices before the coming of a Christian missionary in 1870, and their accommodation with death are related in language that can be easily understood by the layman and, yet, provide information which can be used by the sociologist and anthropologist." Journal of the West "The current trend in books written by American Indians is to idealize the Indian past while condemning white culture.
This volume is a notable exception because its author is old enough to remember the past and because she has been successful in adapting those elements of white culture which she found useful without sacrificing this essential heritage...The style is simple and straightforward, that of a good storyteller which reaches all adult levels." Choice "Simple and charming reminiscences of the old Pima ways at the turn of the century when they still prevailed and of the changes which recent decades have brought about in the lives of the desert people." Books of the Southwest "Throughout her account a special kind of humor, sensitivity and pride is revealed when discussing her peoples and her own personal experiences." The Masterkey
Anna Moore Shaw, author of Pima Indian Legends and A Pima Past, was born in a traditional brush dwelling on the Gila River Reservation in 1898. In 1920 she received her high school diploma and married Ross Shaw, a Pima-Maricopa man. After more than forty years of distinguished civic and religious activity in Phoenix, the couple returned to the Salt River Reservation, where they focused their attention on Indian issues. Anna was on the Mutual Self-Help Housing Commission, edited the Pima newsletter, and taught kindergarten classes in the Pima language and culture. One of the founders of the reservation's museum, she served her tribe in many important capacities.