Archaeologist. Born the only daughter of Seneca folklorist and archaeologist, Arthur Parker and Abenaki actress, Beulah Tahamont, reportedly in a tent at one of her father's excavations either in Chautaqua or Cattaraugus County in upstate New York. Her parents divorced when she was seven and she and her mother joined her grandparents, Elijah Dark Cloud Tahamont and Margaret Dove Eye Camp, who worked as actors in California. Beulah would also appear in a handful of films. Reportedly, Bertha and her mother performed with Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus during her teen years. She married Joseph Pallen about 1923 and with him had a daughter. They would divorce in 1928. She began archaeological work with her uncle, Mark Raymond Harrington within a year or two after the birth of her daughter, when he first hired her to be an expedition secretary. In 1929, she was thoroughly involved in excavations at Mesa House, and discovered the pueblo site, Scorpion Hill. Her excavation results were exhibited in the Southwest Museum. In 1930, she worked at Gypsum Cave, and discovered the Corn Creek site. She worked as an Assistant Archaeologist at the Southwest Museum from 1931-1941 and published numerous archaeological and ethnological papers in the museum journal. In 1931, she married paleontologist James E. Thurston, but he died less than two years later. She married actor Iron Eyes Cody in 1936. She left the Southwest Museum in 1941 to work in the movie and television industry. She went to work as a technical advisor for film and television, and has been credited with influencing for the better how indigenous people and their cultures were represented. During the 1950s, she and her husband hosted a television program focusing on tribal history and folklore. The couple were also involved in the success of the Los Angeles Indian Centre which provided support and a meeting place for First Nations members relocating to the region. Continually overshadowed by the men in her life, most of her many laudable accomplishments, including significant contributions to American archaeology and ethnology, were largely forgotten after her death at age 71. Her memorial stone does not record even her own name.
Bio by: Iola
Iron Eyes Cody
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