Bertha Parker Pallan Cody

When digging for information about women archaeologists and anthropologists, records of their contributions are often inadequate and/or attributed to the male heads of a particular site. To set the record straight, Dr. Suzanne Birch and several co-founders started the popular web-site Trowel Blazers to address this pervasive omission in both academia and popular culture. This is where we first stumbled upon Bertha Parker Pallan Cody, the first Native-American woman archaeologist whose father Arthur Parker and uncle M.R. Harrington introduced her to dig sites across the Southwest.  She uncovered “Scorpion Hill”  during a 1929 expedition at Mesa House, where her official title was “Secretary”.  Later, she exhibited her findings at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles where M.R. Harrington was the director.  She also in later years wrote anthropology articles for “Masterkey” which was a bi-monthly publication of the Southwest museum, and she participated in events at the museum including a California Indian Rights Association meeting.  The association is described as a state-wide “Self-help organization on Indians for Indians” and the purpose of the meeting in 1939 was to advocate for an “Indian Day”.  Apparently, the mission was successful as “the first Indian Day was celebrated on October 1 by proclamation of Governor Olson.”

 

 

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