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The Delight Makers
Excerpts from the 1890 novel by
Adolf Bandelier

The Delight Makers is a fictional novel that is based on oral histories that the author heard from tribal peoples in several villages in the late 1880s. He has written a story about the joys and troubles, black magic and healing arts of a pueblo village situated in Frijoles Canyon (what is now Bandelier national Monument). Much of the story focuses around one family and the clans of the father and mother of this family, and their children and friends. They face evil witchcraft inside the village, and threats from hostile outside attacks. Some parts of the book are written in the authors voice telling of how things would have been in a pueblo village in prehistory. Other parts are the experiences of the fictional characters living in the village. We will provide excerpts of both for your reading enjoyment.


This story is the result of eight years spent in ethnological and archaeological study among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico… I was prompted to perform the work by a conviction that however scientific works may tell the truth about the Indian, they exercise always a limited influence upon the general public; and to that public, in our country as well as abroad, the Indian has remained as good as unknown. By clothing sober facts in the garb of romance I have hoped to make the "Truth about the Pueblo Indians" more accessible and perhaps more acceptable to the public in general.

by Adolf Bandelier


Chapter I. Excerpts on matrilineal social structure
Chapter II. Excerpt on property ownership
Chapter II. Excerpt from Who are the Delight Makers, a story
Chapter II. Excerpt on Native spirituality and healing
Chapter II. Excerpt on rainmaking
Chapter XI. Excerpts on the convening of a meeting in a kiva

In Memory by Charles Lummis