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Title: Turquoise in the History of the Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise in the ancient Southwest

Throughout history, peoples around the world have revered turquoise for its beauty. Turquoise comes from the earth but is the color of the sky. Indians of the American Southwest associate the semi-precious stone with early tribal stories and prayer. ...

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Title: Penitentes

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief description of the Penitente Brotherhood and the Hispano communities it served.

During the 1600s and 1700s, Hispano settlers in present-day New Mexico lived in small isolated poblaciones, or communities. They built adobe houses, dug acequias (irrigation ditches), and planted their crops along these ditches. The settlers lived in...

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Title: Abiquiu

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A short history of Abiquiu and its peoples, including genizaros in the 1700s.

The village of Abiquiu lies in the Chama River Valley on high ground above the Chama River. People made their homes in the Chama River Valley for at least 5,000 years before the establishment of this village in the 1700s. We know this because we find...

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Title: The Old Spanish Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of the Old Spanish Trail that traders traveled on between California and New Mexico.

Less well known today than the Old Santa Fe Trail, the Old Spanish Trail was a dynamic feature of the early days in the Spanish American Southwest. Long before the explorers and missionaries from Spain worked their way up from Old Mexico into Alta Ca...

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Title: Turquoise Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise trade and Zuni jewelry.

The Zuni traded for turquoise stones for hundreds of years. They traded with the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Indians who had access to the turquoise mines. Later on the Spanish seized control of the mines. In the late 1800s Anglo mining interests took ...

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Title: Father Greyrobe: Was He or Wasn’t He?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Account of a Spanish priest who may have survived the Pueblo Revolt.

Catholicism was the religion of Spanish conquest. By the late 1600s, it had dominated Pueblo life for well over a century. In the wake of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, few signs of it remained. The leaders killed the mission priests and burned the churc...

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Title: Who Is Chakwaina?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Origins of the Chakwaina katsina.

In 1529, Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Baca and three companions survived a shipwreck at the mouth of what is now known as the Mississippi River. Esteban, a black Moorish slave, was among the survivors. For seven years, the four Spaniards w...

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Title: Nampeyo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

How Nampeyo revived old design traditions among Hopi potters.

During the 1870s and 1880s, a young Hopi woman named Nampeyo searched for potsherds in the ancient village of Sikyatki on First Mesa. Nampeyo was the daughter of Qotca Ka-o (White Corn), who was a member of the Tewa Corn Clan. Her Hopi father was a ...

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Title: Villagrá’s Cantos

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief introduction to Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s cantos describing the battle between the people of Acoma and the Spanish in 1598.

Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá accompanied Juan de Oñate on the Spanish expedition into Nuevo Mexico in 1598. Luckily for history, Villagrá was a poet who recorded the details of the adventures in the rhyming verse of his day. Villagrá modeled his His...

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Title: Katsinam

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The meaning and origin of katsina rituals.

Katsinam are Hopi spirit messengers who send prayers for rain, bountiful harvests, and a prosperous, healthy life for humankind. They are our friends and visitors who bring gifts and food, as well as messages to teach appropriate behavior and the con...

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