Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 38

B E RT HA PA R K E R PA L L A N C ODY

L

ong considered the first female
Native American archaeologist, Bertha
Parker Pallan Cody led an intriguing life.
She was born in 1907 to Seneca folklorist, archaeologist, musicologist, and
historian Arthur Parker and Abenaki
actress Beulah Tahamont. She was also
the great niece of Ely S. Parker, engineer,
attorney, and the first Native American
commissioner of Indian affairs (and
inspiration for the highest AISES award).
After Cody's parents divorced,
Bertha moved with her mother and her
mother's parents, also actors, to Los
Angeles, the new motion picture capital.
Cody worked in show business for a
time, but gave up the show biz life when
her uncle by marriage, archeologist Mark
Raymond Harrington, hired her as a
secretary and cook on his digs.
Cody learned the science on the job,
in the field. She was involved in some of
the 20th century's significant discoveries,

including working at a site promoted as
having the earliest evidence of Native
peoples on the continent. At Gypsum
Cave in Nevada in 1930, she was the one
who found the skull of an extinct giant
ground sloth next to ancient human
tools. Cody also excavated ancestral
Pueblo sites, including Scorpion Hill,
and published her findings based on her
careful documentation and photography.
By that time, Harrington was director
of the Southwest Museum, and many of
the pieces Cody found were put on
display. Cody published several papers
while working at the Southwest from
1931 to 1941 as an archaeology assistant,
and later as an archaeologist and
ethnographer. Cody's studies ranged
from Yurok lore to California baby
baskets and Southwestern art. Dr.
Margaret Bruchac, Abenaki, wrote in
2005 that Cody was "conscientious
about recording the names of the

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38 WINDS OF CHANGE * FALL 2017

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Winds of Change - Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Winds of Change - Fall 2017

Contents
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Intro
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Contents
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 2
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 3
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - 4
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Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover3
Winds of Change - Fall 2017 - Cover4
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