The University of Arizona

Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona

Portraits of Cloth: Tohono O'odham Quilts of Goldie Richmond - Main Page

ShareShare this page

Living Legend Goldie Once Strangled Lynx

Thursday Evening, March 3, 1960

Continued From Page 1

Marion went out alone one the trap line.

"When he didn't get back on time I went looking for him. Finally I saw him coming toward me, on his hands and knees. He was the sickest looking mortal you ever saw."

It seems that Marion had gone into the hackberry thicket head first and got liberally squirted in the face by the skunk that he thought was a fox.

"He was wearing glasses and they looked like they'd been spattered with egg yolks," Goldie recalled. "He heaved up Jonah and thought he was going to die. I took him home, buried his clothes, cut off all his hair, and gave him a bath. I had to tote water three miles."

After four days Tracy recovered, but he never questioned Goldie's judgment about skunks after that.

I always caught more furs than Marion," she said. "But most women are better trappers than men. I guess it's a woman's nature to be a good trapper."

How about the lynx cat she chocked to death?

"Well, we were checking the traps one day, and walking through a canyon. Marion was in front. He pushed through a thicket and a big lynx cat jumped off a rock and landed on Marion's back - started to claw and chaw him.

"I grabbed the cat by the throat and squeezed with all my might - which was considerable. It clawed my arms with its hind feet and ripped my skirt off - but I held on and kept squeezing.

"When the cat finally went limp and his teeth loosed from Marion I dropped the cat. He was dead."

Her husband, badly bitten, was laid up for two weeks. Goldie's arms still bear the scars of the clawing she received.

"We used boiling hot poultices of vinegar and salt on our wounds," she said. "That's all the medicine we had."

Tracy died, of a nose bleed, in 1938. Goldie married James Richmond in 1941.

During her 33 years on the reservation Goldie has seen a slow decline in hereditary crafts such as pottery-making and basketry among the Papagos. And there has been an increase in drinking, which she abhors.

Goldie doesn't consider that the white man has improved the Papago diet.

"I see the Indians changing from mesquite beans, cactus fruit and game to government starch and soda pop," she said.

Her husband, who runs a mobile store in isolated Papago villages, is gone four days a week. But Goldie doesn't get lonesome. Too many hobbies. She makes quilts, does embroidery, collects stamps and reads many books. "I've been through the Bible four times, and have almost a thousand books.

She plays a piano, by ear, for relaxation. "There's a lot of me to relax," she said smilingly.

A small Papago village of about 75 inhabitants surrounds the trading post. Called San Simon village, it is 96 miles from Tucson, on the Ajo road.

Return to Biography

Goldie Richmond:


Goldie Richmond and the Arts and Crafts Board

ASM Home | Exhibitions | More Online Exhibitions | Collections


© 2003–2015 Arizona Board of Regents