Talk:Peter La Farge
|WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America||(Rated Start-class)|
|WikiProject Biography / Musicians||(Rated Start-class)|
Indian background of Peter La Farge
The Hopi Reservation is not anywhere near Santa Fe, NM. It is in northern Arizona. There is a village of Tewa descendants there, who fled the Spanish during the 17th century, from the area around Santa Fe. So, was La Farge raised be Tewas near Santa Fe, or those on the Hopi Reservation? Wschart 21:38, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
- Good point. I'd guess that much of this early history of La Farge was promulgated as his folk career bloomed in Greenwich Village, and may be anecdotal insofar as details are concerned. All sources that I have seen in the popular press (and internet) say that he was a "Nargasset" (as opposed to a Narragansett); I have only seen the word "Nargasset" in connection with La Farge's name. Likewise the whole Tewa thing seems a bit hazy, and uncomfortably evokes Bob Dylan's cooked-up connection to New Mexico, where he claimed to have lived in "Gallup" learning "cowboy and Indian" songs when all the while he had been with his parents in Hibbing, Minnesota. Perhaps the experts on Peter La Farge's adoptive father can shed mnore light in this. It also seems very odd that a (probable) northeastern tribal member would arbitrarily be raised by otherwise unrelated people across the continent, with a cultural (language, religion, customs, way of life) gap as wide as that between the Tewa and European society.Jerry picker 02:20, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
- Peter's adoptive father, Oliver La Farge, was originally a New Yorker, but made his permanent home in Santa Fe from 1937 until his death in 1963, and had some earlier connections to Santa Fe. It is possible that Oliver adopted young Peter while still in the northeast, which might explain the "Nargasset" reference, and moved the boy to Santa Fe with him. Once in Santa Fe, Oliver, who had strong literary, historical, and political ties to Native Americans, might easily have taken up with Tewa people in the area (not on the Hopi reservation), and made arrangements for Peter to learn Tewa culture as an "adopted" member of the tribe, rather than as a legally adopted son in a Tewa family. More research will be necessary, but this is quite plausible.Jerry picker 17:20, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
- Buffy Sainte-Marie, who knew La Farge, told me that Narragansett is correct. Badagnani 01:24, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
- My father is Peter's first cousin and knew him quite well. Here are the facts as known in the family and confirmed by Sandra Hale Schulman's research when working on her book and film bio of Peter. Peter was not adopted - as his strong physical resemblance to his father (Oliver LaF.), his uncle (Christopher La F.), and his half brother (John Pendaries LaF.) amply testifies. It was part of Peter's self-mythologizing, possibly linked to his estrangement from his father, to sometimes claim he was adopted. The claims of Indian descent are also only that, with an uncertain footing in actuality. There are stories in the La Farge family of Native American ancestry through Margaret Perry (wife of the painter John LaFarge), which may be what Peter picked up on. Alternatively, the story of a connection to Narragansett Indians may come through the family of Peter's mother, Wanden Matthews La F., who hailed from Rhode Island (where Oliver's family also had a home). In any case, these stories should be taken with a huge grain of salt and not treated as factual in the absence of more secure evidence than now appears. The question of Peter's possible 'adoption' by one or more of the tribes that his father worked with is a separate question, and one on which I have no information.Alafarge (talk) 01:04, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Fair use rationale for Image:Peter La Farge.jpg
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LaFarge was not an American Indian
Oliver Albee LaFarge was born in NYC on April 30, 1931 and grew up on a ranch near Fountain, Colorado. Oliver Hazard LaFarge and Wanden Matthews were his parents, but were divorced when he was 3 years old. He changed his name to Peter while still a boy. He attended high school at the Fountain Valley School, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80911. I was a preschool child at the school during WW2 years, and was vaguely acquainted with Peter at that time. He was well known at the school for his outstanding riding ability and his gymkhana skills that presaged his career as a rodeo performer.
An article on La Farge by Jeanne Olive appeared in the recently published Winter 2009 Bulletin from the school. According to quoted discussions with LaFarge's sister, his father may have had some Narragansett blood (see bio on his father), and he probably did not commit suicide. His sister believes he died from an experimental treatment he was taking for his mental illness - "cobra venom injections thought to help by numbing nerves."
According to that article, from primary sources, LaFarge learned his great empathy for the Native Americans and their plight from his anthropologist father, Oliver LaFarge. According to Jeanne Olive, he may have led people to believe he was more Native American than could be proven by blood sampling. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 06:46, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
- I noticed that Smithsonian Folkways' Jeff Place, in his liner notes for the label's 2009 release 'Classic Protest Songs', says La Farge was "[o]f Pima Indian heritage." GreenGourd (talk) 16:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)