Adolf Bandelier was a pioneering Southwestern explorer and anthropologist. The Delight Makers is a novel based on his experiences with the Pueblo Native Americans of New Mexico. The ethnographic novel very rarely works as either ethnography or novel. In this case, it works as both. Not only does the novel open a door into the world of the pre-Columbian Pueblo Indians, it is also a great contribution to the literature of the Southwest.
The Delight Makers is a Greek tragedy of a story, in which the treachery of a woman causes a community to fall apart. As the story progresses, we become immersed in Pueblo culture, to the point where we don’t even notice when Bandelier stops explaining the untranslated terms and unfamiliar customs.