Bookmark this page or copy and paste URL to Email message

Muriel Thayer Painter Collection 1939-1975

MS 18

Creator: Painter, Muriel Thayer
Title: Muriel Thayer Painter Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1939-1975.
Quantity: 15.5 Linear Feet
Abstract:Collection consists of the papers of Muriel Thayer Painter relating to Mrs. Painter's work in the Pascua Yaqui community. Included are field notes on Pascua and San Xavier and materials relating to her community activities with the Tucson Festival Society and Pascua Yaqui Association. Also included are materials from Refugio Savala, a Yaqui poet, including his manuscript Autobiography of a Yaqui Poet
Identification: MS 18
Language: English.
Repository: Arizona State Museum
PO Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
Phone: 520-621-2970
Fax: 520-621-2976

Biographical Note

Muriel Thayer was born in Minneapolis in 1892. She attended University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellesley in 1916 with a degree in social work. During 1938-39, Bronislaw Malinowski was a guest lecturer at the University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology. Muriel Thayer Painter joined Malinowski in observing the Yaqui Easter ceremony in Spring, 1939.

From the beginning, Muriel Painter's commitment to study the Easter ceremony, and eventually the entire ceremonial cycle, grew. Each year from 1939 through 1954 she attended most of the Holy Week observances and the processions during Lent. Her extensive notes documenting these observations were supplemented by interviews with Yaquis over a period of years from 1948 to 1975. Mrs. Painter was appointed chairperson of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce "Yaqui Committee" in 1942. In 1950, the Tucson Chamber of Commerce published her pamphlet on the Yaqui Easter Ceremony at Pascua, which was later updated and reprinted by the University of Arizona Press.

Since 1944, Muriel Painter was a research associate at the Arizona State Museum. She was program chairperson for the Tucson Festival Society which began organizing the annual San Xavier Fiesta in 1952. During the 1960s, she was chairperson of the Pascua Yaqui Association which sought to improve housing in Pascua Pueblo. The work of this Association eventually gained recognition of the Yaquis as a tribe and funds for establishing New Pascua Pueblo.

When she died in 1975, Muriel Painter left her papers, including her unpublished manuscript, to the Arizona State Museum. Dr. Edward Spicer of the Department of Anthropology and Wilma Kaemlein, emeritus staff member of ASM, revised the manuscript and in 1986 it was published as With Good Heart by the University of Arizona Press.

Scope and Content

This collection relates to the years from 1939 to 1975 when Muriel Painter was active in the Pascua Yaqui community. Her papers include field notes on Pascua and San Xavier and materials relating to her community activities with the Tucson Festival Society and Pascua Yaqui Association.

Subgroup 1 is field notes, 1939-71; subgroup 2 is publication; subgroup 3 is the Refugio Savala papers; and subgroup 4 is community and professional activities.

Refugio Savala's manuscripts for Autobiography of a Yaqui Poet and other Savala papers are included in the Painter Collection because he was an important Yaqui contributor to her work. Mrs. Painter encouraged Refugio to start his autobiographical journal describing Yaqui customs as they were in his lifetime.


This collection is organized into four subgroups and 15 series
Subgroup 1: Field Notes, 1939-1971
Series 1: Pascua Field Notes by Date, 1939-71
Series 2: Pascua Field Notes by Subject and Miscellaneous Reading Notes
Series 3: Papago (O'odham) Field Notes
Series 4: Notes on Mexico and Miscellaneous
Subgroup 2: Publications
Series 1: Various Small Publications
Series 2: Yaqui Manuscript Research
Series 3: With Good Heart, First Draft
Series 4: With Good Heart, Second Draft
Series 5: With Good Heart, Final Draft
Subgroup 3: Refugio Savala Papers
Series 1: Original Savala Manuscripts
Series 2: Savala Manusciprt Edited by Kay Sands
Subgroup 4: Community and Professional Activities
Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Tucson Festival Society
Series 3: Pascua Yaqui Development Project
Series 4: Other Activities


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

The Arizona State Museum may not own copyright to all parts of this collection. It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, Arizona State Museum, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Controlled Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Painter, Muriel Thayer
Savala, Refugio

Geographic Name(s)
Pascua Village (Ariz.)--Social life and customs.

Indians of North America--Arizona--Rites and ceremonies.
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Tohono O'odham Indians
Tohono O'odham Indians--Arizona--Rites and ceremonies.
Yaqui Indians
Yaqui Indians--Arizona--Rites and ceremonies
Yaqui Indians--Religion

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The Painter Collection came to the Arizona State Museum at Muriel Thayer Painter's death in 1975 except for several drafts of her Yaqui manuscript, which were at the University of Arizona Press or in the Spicer residence. These drafts were given to the Archives by Mrs. Spicer in 1987.

Preferred Citation

Muriel Thayer Painter Collection. Arizona State Museum Archives.

Container List

Field Notes, 1939-1971
Subgroup 1: Series 1 consists of Pascua field notes arranged by date; Series 2 is Pascua field notes by subject and miscellaneous reading notes. These notes are on half sheets and are stored in card boxes. Series 3 consists of Papago (O'odham) field notes; Series 3-5 are three drafts of the manuscript of With Good Heart.
Pascua Field Notes by Date, 1939-71
11 Pascua-Malinowski, 1939
12 Pascua, 1939
13 Pascua, 1945-46
14 Pascua, 1947
15 Pascua, January-February, 1948
16 Pascua, February, 1948
17 Pascua, March,1948
18-9 Pascua, April, 1948
110 Pascua, May, 1948
111 Pascua, August, 1948
112 Pascua, October,1948
113 Pascua, November-December, 1948
114 Pascua, January-February, 1949
115 Pascua, March, 1949
116-17 Pascua, April, 1949
218 Pascua, May, 1949
219 Pascua, June, 1949
220 Pascua, July-September, 1949
221 Pascua, October-December, 1949
222 Pascua, January-March, 1950
223-24 Pascua, April, 1950
225 Pascua, May, 1950
226 Pascua, June-August, 1950
227 Pascua, October-November, 1950
228 Pascua, January-February, 1951
229 Pascua, March, 1951
230 Pascua, March-May, 1951
231 Pascua, June-August, 1951
232 Pascua, September-December, 1951
233 Pascua, January-April, 1952
234 Pascua, May-December, 1952
335 Pascua, January-November, 1953
336 Pascua, February-March, 1954
337 Pascua, April-November, 1955
338 Pascua, 1956
339 Pascua, February-October, 1957
340 Pascua, November-December, 1957
341 Pascua, 1958
342 Pascua, 1959
343 Pascua, 1961-62
344 Pascua, 1963
345 Pascua, 1964
346 Pascua, 1965
347 Pascua, 1966-67
348 Pascua, 1968-69
349 Pascua, 1970-71
350 Barrio Libre
351 Notes on Refugio Savala
Pascua Field Notes by Subject and Miscellaneous Reading Notes
11 Pascua, 1946-47
12 San Xavier Fiesta
13 Field Notes by subject
Social Organization
Culture Contacts
21 Field Notes by Subject- Religion
22 Field Notes by Personal Name
23 Easter Sermon, 1941
31 Pre-Spanish (Yaqui) Religious Concepts
32 Post-Spanish (Christian) Religious Concepts
33 Ritual Practices
34 Easter Ceremony
41 Easter Ceremony
42 Culture Change
51 Personal Names
52 Reading Notes
53 Codes of Behavior
61 Codes of Behavior
Military Society
71 Pascua Word List- English to Yaqui
81 Pascua Word List- Yaqui to English
Papago (O'odham) Field Notes
41-2 San Xavier- Calendar of Ceremonies
43 San Xavier, 1947
44-5 San Xavier, January-November, 1948
46 San Xavier, December, 1948
47 San Xavier, October, 1949
48 San Xavier, December, 1949
49 San Xavier, January-October, 1950
410 San Xavier, November-December, 1950
411 San Xavier, April-September, 1951
412 San Xavier, October-December, 1951
413 San Xavier, 1952
414 San Xavier, 1952-57
415 Vikita Ceremony
416 Papago Files on Curing and Religion
417 Miscellaneous Notes
418 Rodeo Programs and Newspaper Clippings
Notes on Mexico and Miscellaneous
51 Magdalena
52 Magdalena and Mexican Yaqui Folklore
53 Visit of Seris and Visit of Oliver LaFarge
54 Mexico Diary, July-August, 1953
55 Miscellaneous Trips in New Mexico and Mexico
56 Dr. Spicer's Lectures, Guest Lecturers
Various Small Publications
51 A Yaqui Easter- Chamber of Commerce Brochures
52 A Yaqui Easter- Newspaper Clippings
53 A Yaqui Easter- Introductions
54 A Yaqui Easter- Charts and Figures
55 A Yaqui Easter- Drawings
56 Faith, Flowers, Fiestas' Material
57 Yaqui Easter Sermon Draft and Word List
consists of 2 folders: A and B
58 Correspondence with University of Arizona Press
Yaqui Manuscript Research
51-2 Variations on Easter Ceremony
53 Notes on Liturgical Drama
54 European Origins of Easter Ceremony
55 Published Material on the Yaqui
66 Las Tribus Yaquies de Sonora, Reading Notes
67 Notes on Caballeros
68 Notes on Fundamental Elements of Yaqui Ceremonialism
69 Notes on Yaqui CumpleaƱos, Funerals
610 Analysis of Personnel
611 Analysis of Elements
With Good Heart, First Draft
61 Outline and Introduction
62 Seataka Ute'a, Tekia Power
63 Huya Ania, Sea Ania
64 Yoania and Surem
65 Yoania Visions
66 Fetishes
67 Amulets
68 Witchcraft
69 Hitebi
610 Animals
611 Dreaming
612 Deer Hunting Songs
613 Other Yaqui Beliefs (Magic, Natural Phenomena>
614-15 Yaqui Christian Beliefs
616 Ritual Practices
617 Ritual Practices- Manda
718 Ceremonial Organization- Church Group
719 Ceremonial Organization- Matachin Dance Society
720 Ceremonial Organization- The Kohtumbre Ya'ura
721 Ceremonial Organization- Caballeros
722 Ceremonial Organization- Fariseos
723-24 Ceremonial Organization- Chapayekas
725 Ceremonial Organization- Chapayeka
726 Ceremonial Organization- Military Society (Coyote)
727-28 Ceremonial Organization- Pascolas
729-30 Ceremonial Organization- Deer Dancers and Singers
731 Ceremonies Other than Easter
732-34 Ceremonies Other than Easter- Fiestas
835 Easter Ceremony- Introduction, Ash Wednesday
836 Easter Ceremony- Friday Processions, Household Fiestas
837 Easter Ceremony- Palm Sunday Ceremonies
838 Easter Ceremony- Tenebrae
839 Easter Ceremony- Holy Thursday
840 Easter Ceremony- Good Friday
841 Easter Ceremony- The Gloria
842 Easter Ceremony- Easter Sunday
843 Easter Ceremony- Holy Cross Ceremonies
844 Easter Ceremony- Notes on Fiesta of 1948
845 Easter Ceremony- Preface, Methods, Mechanics
846-47 Easter Ceremony- Addenda- Deer Songs
848 Easter Ceremony- Addenda- Prayers
849 Easter Ceremony- Addenda- Pascola Music
850 Easter Ceremony- Figures and Drawings
851 Easter Ceremony- Reference List
852 Easter Ceremony- Miscellaneous
With Good Heart, Second Draft
91 Introduction
92 Pre-Christian Outline, Searaka and Ute's Power
93 Yoania and the Surem
94 Yoania and Vision Seeking
95 Miscellaneous Legends
96 Fetishes
97 Choni Fetish
98 Amulets
99 Hiak Viva
910 Hitebi
911 Ceremonial Organization
912 Fariseo Outline
913 Chapayeka
914 Caballeros Outline
915 Military Society
916 Ritual Practices
917 Christian Legends
918 Ceremonial Organization
919 Holy Figures
920 Matachinis
1021 Pascola
1022 Maso
1023 Maso II
1024 Ceremonies Other than the Easter Ceremony
1025 Yearly Calendar Excluding the Easter Ceremony
1026 Pascolas in Non-Easter Ceremonies
1027 Music, Pascolas, Deer Dancers in Non-Easter Ceremonies
1028 Palm Sunday, Dawn Ceremony, Rain Act
1029 Killing the Deer, Last Song, Pascola Sermon
1030 Incomplete Notes for Introduction to Ceremonial Organization
1031 Introduction to the Easter Ceremony
1032 The Meeting for the Easter Ceremony, Ash Wednesday
1033 Processions Dramatizing the Way of the Cross
1034 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Friday Processions
1035 Coming of the Chapayekas, Household Fiestas in Lent
1036 Ceremonies Honoring Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday Eve Fiesta
1037 Palm Sunday
1038 Tenebrae
1039 Holy Thursday
1140 Good Friday
1141 Saturday of Glory
1142 Easter, April 1962
1143 Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross
1144 Morea Power, Saurino
1145 Animals
1146 Heavenly Bodies, Natural Phenomena, Monstrous Creatures
1147 Pre-Spanish Miscellaneous
1148 Huya Ania, Sea Ania
1149 Post-Spanish Concepts
1150-51 Ritual Practices
1152 Notes on the Texts, Texts of Ritual Practices
1153 Field Notes R: Pascua Land
1154-55 Variations not to be in "Bulletin"
With Good Heart, Final Draft
121 Pages 1-65
122 Pages 66-118
123 Pages 119-187
124 Pages 188-265
125 Pages 266-324
126 Pages 325-392
127 Pages 393-461
128 Pages 462-521
129 Pages 522-596
1210 Pages 597-651
1211 Pages 652-679
1212 Pages 680-703
1213 Pages 704-743
1214 Pages 744-796
1315 Pages 797-832
1316 Pages 833-895
1317 Pages 896-962
1318 Pages 963-1013
1319 Pages 1014-1093
1320 Pages 1094-1166
1321 Pages 1167-1221
1322 Pages 1222-1259
1323 Pages 1260-1313
1324 Pages 1314-1395
1325 Pages 1396-1473
1326 Pages 1474-1522
1427 Pages 1523-1592
1428 Pages 1593-1655
1429-34 Miscellaneous Editing by Wilma Kaemlein
1435 Yaqui Word List
1436 Yaqui and Spanish Glossaries
1437 Contents, List of Illustrations
1438 Texts and Deer Songs (not published)
1439 Prayers, Music, Dances (not published)
Refugio Savala Papers
Original Savala Manuscripts
151-2 Writings and Drawings of Refugio Savala
153-6 Savala's Autobiographical Manuscript
157-11 Savala's Manuscript Typed
Savala Manusciprt Edited by Kay Sands
151-2 First Typed Draft
163-5 First Typed Draft
166-10 Final Draft, Two Copies
1611 Epilogue Materials (not published)
1612-14 University of Arizona Press Galleys
1615 University of Arizona Press Galleys
Community and Professional Activities
171 Ned Spicer
172 Society for Applied Anthropology
173 Intervention on Behalf of Yaquis
174 Assistance with Articles on the Yaqui
175 Information about the Yaquis
176 Tucson Chamber of Commerce Re: Yaqui Easter Ceremony
Tucson Festival Society
171 Reports of Program Committee, Notes on Yaqui Participation
172-4 Fiesta de la Placita, (formerly A-376), 1955-1957
175-6 San Xavier Fiesta, (formerly A-428, copies), 1952-53
177-8 San Xavier Fiesta, 1955-56
179 San Xavier Fiesta- Correspondence
1710 San Xavier Fiesta- Newspaper Clippings
Pascua Yaqui Development Project
171 Digest of Field Notes and Correspondence, 1949-53
172 Abstracts of Yaqui Proof of Tenure
183-5 Painter's Diary, 1962-67
186 Minutes for Committee for Pascua Community Housing
187-8 Committee for Pascua Community Housing, 1962-65
189-10 Committee on Pascua Community Housing, 1966-69
1811-12 Committee on Pascua Community Housing, finances
1813 Petition for Land for Relocation
1814 Yaqui Easter Program by Pascua Yaqui Association
1815 Newspaper Clippings
Other Activities
181 San Augustin Placita Committee
182 Committee on Research in Dance
183 Notes for Lecture to Spicer's Class, Spring, 1961
184 Yaqui Maestro's Notebook, handwritten
185 Yaqui Maestro's Notebook, typed
186 Notes on Yaqui Easter Passion Play, English Project, Lisa Painter (Muriel Thayer Painter's daughter), 1 photograph of Easter ceremony, 1941
186 A Yaqui Easter Ceremonial at Pasqua, English Projet, Lisa Painter (Muriel Thayer Painter's daughter), 1946