January 09, 2008

An improbable correspondence

Hopi Summer:  Letters from Ethel to MaudThe possibility that a New England woman and a Hopi woman forming a meaningful friendship in the late 1920s would have been almost impossible. Nonetheless, Maude Melville and Ethel Salyah Muchvo met during a short visit to the Hopi reservation made by the Melville family 80 years ago. Following an eight-day visit, the women from extremely different worlds carried on a written correspondence for a decade following their chance meeting.

This friendship-and more importantly a pictorial view of life in Hopi villages at the turn of the 20th Century-is chronicled in Carolyn O'Bagy Davis' book, Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud.

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