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Indian Chief Who Was Fashion Designer And Engineer Dies

January 8, 1988 GMT

GRAFTON, Mass. (AP) _ Zara Cisco Brough, a former electronics engineer and fashion designer who was chief of the Nipmuc Indian tribe for 25 years, has died. She was 68.

Miss Brough, also known as Princess White Flower, was state commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1974 until 1984. She died Thursday at a Westboro nursing home of Parkinson’s disease.

″Zara’s passing is going to be a blow,″ said Tony Brown, an Apache who had worked at the Hassanamisco Indian Reservation on which Miss Brough lived. ″She’s one of the last of the old-timers who kept things alive.″


Miss Brough grew up on the four-acre Grafton reservation built over a cave that was an ancient dwelling place for the tribe.

She attended New York University during World War II, then worked in New York and Washington as a fashion designer, draftsman, technical writer and supervisor of government projects.

She was an owner of a New York textile printing company and vice president of the former Ibis Corp. in Waltham, an electronics and ecological consulting company.

A direct descendant of a line of Indian chiefs, she inherited the position when her mother died in 1961. Miss Brough devoted herself to preserving the heritage of Native Americans in New England and to conservation.

She founded the Hassanamisco Reservation in 1962 to display artifacts, and she taught such weaving and leather working. She wrote a history of tne Nipmuc Indians.

She is survived by several cousins.

Funeral services were scheduled Saturday. She will be buried in the Indian cemetery in Grafton.