American Indians •  American West •  Biography and Women

$30.00 paperback
978-0-8263-1805-3

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Wide Ruins: Memories from a Navajo Trading Post


Sallie Wagner

Newlyweds Sallie Wagner and Bill Lippincott came to the Navajo Reservation in 1938. Before they knew it, they owned a trading post at Wide Ruins, Arizona. The years they spent there were the best of their lives, and this lively, honest memoir recalls them in detail. Trading post life combined business with the kinds of experiences generally associated with anthropological field work. Like many traders, Sallie Wagner influenced the weavers whose rugs she purchased. She was one of the traders who persuaded weavers to use vegetal dyes, leaving a permanent legacy in Navajo weaving. Tourists discovered Indian reservations in the 1930s, and the Lippincotts were visited often by friends and strangers alike, many unable to navigate reservation roads.
"This story is a must read for those interested in the Navajo people in the early days. Sallie Wagner has managed to catch and retain the essence of what it meant to be white in a Navajo world that was unbelievably different."--Edward T. Hall


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Sallie Wagner first visited the Southwest with her father in 1926. She earned a Bachelors degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago. Soon after she married Bill Lippincott, the couple moved to Arizona, where he briefly worked as a park ranger at Canyon de Chelly before they established the trading post at Wide Ruins. Wagner spent over seventy years in the Southwest, the majority in Santa Fe, where she was a lifelong activist and philanthropist, supporting many cultural, educational, and social causes and organizations until her death in 2006 at the age of ninety-three.

Published in association with The Albuquerque Museum


5.5 x 8.5 in. 168 pages 62 halftones