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Paul Kutsche papers from the Cañones ethnographic field research project

Identifier: MSS-737-BC

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of field notes, correspondence, and research materials pertaining to an ethnographic project directed by Paul Kutsche in the village of Cañones, New Mexico. The bulk of the fieldwork was conducted from 1966-1968, additional fieldwork was conducted through the 1970s and in 1990-1991.

The collection is organized in 5 series:

Project Administration, Background, Research - This includes correspondence between Kutsche and the administration of Colorado College, various scholars, project personnel, and the National Science Foundation, garnering support for the project, and compiling background/research materials. Grant proposals to the National Science Foundation are included, as are bibliographies, news clippings, articles, and research papers. The bulk of the materials are specific to the Cañones area and Hispanic American culture. Of particular interest is documentation of a legal battle between residents of Cañones and the State Department of Education over closing the local elementary school and busing students to Coyote on a road they deemed unsafe. There is also information pertaining to the Polvadera and Juan José Lovato land grants, Abiquiu dam expansion, economic and human resource development.

Census and Household Data - Alphabetical by household, this includes demographic information about each household, family genealogies, and a small quantity of correspondence between Cañones residents and Kutsche.

Subject Data - These are the field data collected in Cañones. With a few exceptions, these data are filed by Human Relations Area Files codes (see Outline of Cultural Materials vol. 1.) Subjects include but are not limited to education, demography, history and culture change, language, recreation, social stratification, religion, health, and living standards. The education category includes additional documentation of the school closing controversy.

Author/Interviewer Notes- Chronological by author/interviewer, these are primarily Kutsche, Van Ness, Krusnik, and Higman's field notes documenting conversations and interactions with the residents of Cañones. Kutsche's notes comprise the bulk of this series. These files should be considered the "master" files for the data, as they are the complete record of the interactions, whereas the subject data only pertain to the parts of the interactions relevant to the particular subject.

Photographs - This includes negatives, photos, contact prints pertaining to the Cañones project.

Cañones Restudy (Cañones II) and Additional Material - This series, containing materials related to a proposed follow-up study was added in September 2016. Correspondence, grant proposals, and field notes are included.

Unpublished papers (Paul Kutsche) were added to the collection in June 2017. These papers do not necessarily relate directly to Cañones project.


  • 1888-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1966-1968


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Project History

Ethnographic fieldwork in Cañones, a small agricultural community located in Rio Arriba County, northern New Mexico, began in October 1966. The project was largely funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and with sponsorship/support from Colorado College. The majority of the fieldwork was conducted between 1966 and 1968, although the project continued at a slower pace through the 1970's, and Kutsche revisited Cañones in 1990 and 1991. The primary research resulted in the 1981 publication, Cañones Values, Crisis, and Survival in a Northern New Mexico Village by Paul Kutsche and John Van Ness.

The field team consisted of Paul Kutsche (Principal Investigator), John R. Van Ness, Kathy Krusnik, and Alice Higman Reich. Kutsche was associate professor of anthropology at Colorado College at the time. He has a B.A. in history from Harvard, MA in anthropology from University of Michigan, and Ph.D in anthropology from University of Pennsylvania. Van Ness, a former student of Kutsche, was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania at the time. Krusnik was a sophomore at Colorado College when she became involved in the project. Reich was a candidate for her M.A. in anthropology at the University of Chicago when she joined the project.

Goals of the project were:
  1. To provide a thorough ethnographic description of a Spanish-American village in northern New Mexico
  2. To analyze political and social integrating forces in village culture
  3. To train undergraduate students in ethnographic field techniques


5 boxes (5 cu. ft.)


This collection consists primarily of ethnographic data collected in Cañones, New Mexico in the mid-late 1960s. The fieldwork resulted in the several publications, including Survival of Spanish American Villages by Kutsche (1979), Cañones: Values, Crisis, and Survival in a Northern New Mexico Village by Paul Kutsche and John Van Ness (1981), and Hispanos in Northern New Mexico: The Development of Corporate Community and MultiCommunity by Van Ness (1991).


The collection retains its original order and is organized into 5 series:
  1. Project Administration, Background, Research
  2. Census and Household Data - Alphabetical by household
  3. Subject Data - Filed by Human Relations Area Files codes
  4. Author/Interviewer Notes - Chronological by author/interviewer
  5. Photographs
  6. Cañones Restudy (Cañones II) and Additional Material (Added September 2016)

Related Archival Material

Cundiyo field research collection Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico. Frances Léon Quintana Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Original reel to reel stored in B3.

Processing Information

Addition processed, September 2016. Unpublished papers (Paul Kutsche) were added to the collection in June 2017.
Finding Aid of the Paul Kutsche papers from the Cañones ethnographic field research project, 1888-2010
Processed by B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131