EDWARD H. SPICER Case Study Model
(HUMAN PROBLEMS in Technological ChangeA CASEBOOK Edited by EDWARD H. SPICER, RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION New York ©1952)
1. THE PROBLEM
2. THE COURSE OF EVENTS
3. RELEVANT FACTORS
➢ References for further study
➢ Answer question presented in the problem before thinking reading the rest of the case. 4. THE OUTCOME
➢ Suggestions For Study: The Formulation Of Questions
in Technological Change
Edited by EDWARD H. SPICER
Case One (Page 23-33)
RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION New York ©1952
IN THE WAKE OF THE WHEEL: Introduction of the Wagon to
the Papago Indians of Southern Arizona, by Wesley L. Bliss
1. THE PROBLEM
Like other American Indians, the Papagos of southern Arizona knew nothing of the wheel and its uses until the white men came. Relatively isolated in desert country, they did not begin to make much use of wheeled vehicles until shortly before 1900. Their adoption came about partly as the result of a deliberate program of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. The program was successful and had far-reaching effects on the simple routine of life in the desert villages. The Indian agents correctly predicted that the Papagos would find uses for wagons but, so far as is known, no official anticipated the whole train of effects on Papago life. Hence, the introduction of the wagon was not integrated with other plans for the Indians. What immediate changes in the life of a desert Indian village would you expect from the introduction of a wagon about the year 1900?
2. THE COURSE OF EVENTS
1. Spanish missionaries first came into contact with the Papago Indians in 1687. The missionaries, and the soldiers and few colonists who followed them, brought metal tools, cattle, horses, wheat and other European seeds, as well as Christianity and some ideas of political and military organization. The horses were used for riding and pack animals; hut if wheeled vehicles were introduced, the fact is not recorded. 2. For almost 200 years following the first intensive contact with the Jesuit missionaries, the Papagos continued to live at the extreme margin of Spanish influence in the New World. The effects of this contact were not at all like those farther south in Mexico. Spaniards were little interested in the desert country and their influence was felt chiefly along the southern and eastern edges of Papago territory. Here Papagos moved into the villages around the mission churches for longer or shorter periods and learned something of new agricultural techniques and products. In the main, life in the desert villages continued very much as it had for hundreds of years. 3. About the middle of the nineteenth century, with the coming of Anglo Americans to southern Arizona after the close of the Mexican War, a new era began for the Papagos. They joined as allies with the Americans against their old enemies, the Apaches, and rendered effective service in pacifying the Apache frontier. 4. The agents of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who first came in contact with the Papagos in the 1860’s expressed deep concern for the "poverty-stricken Indians," and efforts were made to help them. Impressed with the Papagos’ lack of possessions, the agents undertook as one of their first acts the free distribution of knives, shovels, hoes, and other agricultural implements. 5. Later, a plan was put into effect for giving a farm-wagon to everyone who would agree to build a house in the Mexican adobe style, in place of the brush types traditional among Papagos. Many families in the village where the Indian agent had settled, at the eastern margin of Papago territory, responded during the next few years and received new farm-wagons. 6. The majority of Papagos lived far to the west of the agent’s village and were not reached by this first program, so that it was only in the eastern villages that...
References: Underhill, Ruth NI., Social Organization of the Papigo Indians. Columbia Contributions to Anthropology, vol. 30. Columbia University Press, New York, 1939.
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