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Carobeth Laird

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Title: Carobeth Laird  
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Subject: Chemehuevi, 1983 deaths, 1895 births
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Carobeth Laird

Carobeth (Tucker) Laird
Born July 20, 1895
Coleman, Texas
Died August 5, 1983
Occupation Writer, Ethnologist
Spouse(s) (1) John P. Harrington (2) George Laird

Carobeth (Tucker) Laird (July 20, 1895 – August 5, 1983) is known for her ethnographic studies of the Chemehuevi people of southeastern California and western Arizona. Her book, The Chemehuevi, was characterized by ethnographer Lowell John Bean (1985:5) as "one of the finest, most detailed ethnographies ever written."

Carobeth Tucker was born in informant.

During the period prior to George Laird's death in 1940, Carobeth Laird collected extensive information on the Chemehuevi, particularly concerning language and mythology. She came to the attention of the scholarly world in the early 1970s, when she was "discovered" by students of Lowell Bean. Her ethnographic studies were published in two books, The Chemehuevi (1976) and Mirror and Pattern (1984), as well as several articles in the Journal of California Anthropology.

Carobeth Laird also published an account of her marriage with Harrington, Encounter with an Angry God (1975), which received some critical acclaim, and Limbo (1979), a description of her experiences in a nursing home.

Laird's letters and manuscripts are on file at the University of California, Riverside.


  • Bean, Lowell John. 1985. "Memorial to Carobeth Laird (1895-1983)". Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 7:3-6.
  • Laird, Carobeth. 1975. Encounter with an Angry God: Recollections of My Life with John Peabody Harrington. Malki Museum Press, Banning, California. ISBN 978-0-8263-1414-7
  • Laird, Carobeth. 1976. The Chemehuevis. Malki Museum Press, Banning, California.
  • Laird, Carobeth. 1979. Limbo. Chandler & Sharp, Novato, California. ISBN 978-0-88316-536-2
  • Laird, Carobeth. 1984. Mirror and Pattern: George Laird's World of Chemehuevi Mythology. Malki Museum Press, Banning, California.
  • Lawton, Harry W. 1976. "Forward". In The Chemehuevis, by Carobeth Laird, pp. vii-xii. Malki Museum Press, Banning, California.
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