Architectural Change at Orayvi
Her study is unique in its use of historic photographs to document and understand abandonment processes and apply that knowledge to prehistoric sites. Photos taken by tourists, missionaries, and early anthropologists during the late nineteenth century portray original structures, while later photos show how Orayvi buildings changed over a period of almost eighty years. Census data relating to house size and household configuration shed additional light on social change in the pueblo.
Examining change at Orayvi afforded an opportunity to study the architectural effects of an event that must have happened many times in the past--the partial abandonment of a pueblo--by tracing the effects of sudden population decline on puebloan architecture. Cameron's work provides clues to how and why villages were abandoned and re-established repeatedly in the prehistoric Southwest as it offers a unique window on the relationship between Pueblo houses and the living people who occupied them.
"An enlightening study of an important episode in Hopi history. Her interpretation of Pueblo history in light of Oraibi implies that the presence of the U.S. military, missionaries, and Indian agents did not disrupt a process evident in centuries of Hopi history."—New Mexico Historical Review