Leupp Superintendent Annual Reports, 1919


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Leupp Indian School& Agency Leapp, Anzoni Narrative. Section IV Industries. The Indians principal dependence is their sheep. There is nothing else that compares in importance as a source of revenue. And there is nothing else that ever can, in the nature of things. The sturdy Navajo sheep is the only animal, except the goats, that can profitably stand the conditions that obtain in the greater part of the Navajo country. So much has been said about" improving" the Navajo sheep that there is danger of entertaining an idea that there is something radically wrong with the type. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nor is the Navajo sheep a deterioration from a better breed. There is good reason to believe that the sheep was originally brought from the mountains of Spain where the identical type is said to be common now. The Merino is the heavy bodied sheep of the plains in that country. By breeding with the Merino the Navajo can be given alittle heavier body and a little better fleece. But this must be done with caution or the desert resisting characteristics of the type are apt to be modified to an unprofitable point. Then you have to go back to the Na vajo. There is no sheep that can stand the lack of feed and water and the necessary travel that the Na va jo can. Range conditions during the past fall and winter were as bad on the reservation range as possible, and the loss was heavy. But it is certain that few of any other type of sheep would have survived at all. To radically change the type of sheep for the Na va jo would not be beneficial under all the circumstances. Besides the sheep the Indians have some few cattle, and quite a number of horses. The number of horses has been exagerated, and during the past three years many brood mares have been destroyed on account of dourine. The good effect of the dourine work by the Bureau of Animal Industry officials is becoming very noticeable. There is no farming that could reasonably be so denominated. During a favorable season the Indians plant corn wherever the moisture is sufficient. Also melone, pumpkins, squash, and sometimes beans. But these are all planted in small fields and worked with a hoe. There is no water for irrigation except from the summer rains, and these source is very uncertain. This is very decidedly not an agricultural country. Here near the school I have developed a nice little farm. We are handling about ten acres and have in considerable corn, melons, and garden vegetables. I had to entirely abandon the so- called farm used previously as the black alkalai made successful agriculture there impossible.

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