Yaqui Women Excerpt re Castaneda (thanks to Linda Zukenmeyer)
Yaqui Women: Contemporary Life Histories by Jane Holden Kelley (published 1978) is a collection of life histories of four Yaqui women. The research, supported by the Canada Council was conducted between 1968 and 1972. It makes reference to Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan as follows (pp. 24 and 25, trade paperback edition):
"Deliberate falsification is always a possiblity, whether for monetary gain, amusement, or sheer cussedness. A peripheral story serves to illustrate this point. As everyone knows, Carlos Castaneda's books have had a tremendous impact on a wide audience, and Castaneda's don Juan is a Yaqui. I would assume that every anthropologist who has worked with the Yaquis has been bombarded with inquires about Yaqui drug use, sorcery, and what have you. I have received letters from people wanting an introduction to a Yaqui brujo (witch or sorcerer), and the subject of my Yaqui research is never mentioned without someone asking me if there really is a don Juan. Do I know him or people like him? Or are all Yaquis like don Juan? To such inquiries, I can only say that I have not encountered don Juan or anyone like him, an admission guaranteed to lower my social value on the spot.
The Yaquis themselves are now approached by outsiders in search of don Juan. A Pascua Nueva Yaqui leader related that no few Volkswagen buses, usually with California license plates, find their way to Pascua Nueva. The inhabitants of the VW buses are described as "long-haired hippies," for the word hippie has deeply penetrated Yaqui consciousness with strong negative connotations. The Pascua Nueva leader explained with some delight his tactics for dealing with these unwelcome intrusions. When inquiries begin, he says he has never heard of don Juan. Slowly he shifts to admitting cautiously that there is a don Juan but he must be protected. Finally, he weakens and tells the inquirers where don Juan lives. There actually is an old man named don Juan who lives in Pascua Nueva, one said to have considerable ingenuity in spinning tales. Everyone is vastly amused and the hippies are usually good for a little money, cigarettes, beer, and other things before they have been had."
Jane Holden Kelley, a professor of archaeology at the University of Calgary, is also the author, with Rosalio Moises and William Curry Holden, of A Yaqui Life: The Personal Chronicle of a Yaqui Indian.