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Title: Early Accounts of Turquoise Use by Native Americans

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Spanish explorers on the use of turquoise among the Pueblos

“In this pueblo they were all bedecked with turquoises, which hung from their noses and ears and which they call cacona.…The three days being over, many people gathered to go with me. I selected thirty prominent men, all very well dressed, wearin...

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Title: Turquoise Mining in the Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise mining among the Pueblos, Spanish, and Americans

Archaeologists have also found turquoise mines throughout Mesoamerica. One of the largest mines is in a mountain south of Santa Fe called Cuwimi Kai or Chalchihuitel—“a house inside which turquoise is found.” The Zuni often obtained...

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Title: Hopi Storytelling

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief description of Hopi storytelling practices.

In Hopi, a good storyteller is described as a tuwut’smoki. This word means something like “story bag”—someone who collects and remembers stories from a long and rich oral tradition. Hopi storytellers often begin their stories by saying ...

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Title: The Origins of Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

When people started to make pottery and how it changed their societies.

Small bands of indigenous peoples roamed the American Southwest between 10,000 BCE and 1000 CE. They moved around following game and gathering whatever plants were in season. They may have carried their belongings and foodstuffs in baskets. Peopl...

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Title: Hopi Silver

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

How the Hopis came to be silversmiths.

Silversmithing in the American Southwest tells a story of creative encounters among peoples. The Navajos probably learned the art of silversmithing from Mexican artisans. Oral tradition recalls that a Navajo taught silversmithing to a Zuni man named ...

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Title: Tierra Amarilla

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of Tierra Amarilla.

The village of Tierra Amarilla lies in the Chama River Valley. Groups of hunters and gatherers lived in this valley as far back as about 5,000 years ago. Archaeologists know about at least ten significant pueblo sites along the Chama River, between p...

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Title: Trading Posts in the American Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An overall description of trading posts in the American Southwest.

For hundreds of years, people of the American Southwest traded among themselves. They used a system of barter to exchange everything from furs, bison hides, foods, woven material, and clothing to pottery, beads, feathers, and turquoise. The establish...

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Title: Hopi Weaving

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of weaving among the Hopi.

The origins of Hopi weaving extend deep in time. For many centuries, Hopi men grew short-staple cotton that they spun into thread and then wove into fabric. They used an upright loom to weave blankets and cloth. The fabric was made into everyday clot...

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Title: Zuni Silver

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Introduction of silversmithing to the Southwest and Zunis.

The introduction of silver and silversmithing among the Indians in the Southwest dates from the middle of the 1800s. Mexican traders first introduced the Navajo to silver. Like pottery, migrations and trade among peoples spread jewelry-making designs...

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Title: Oraibi Before the Split

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Homer Cooyama, Kikeuchmovi, July 1970 (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

A Hopi elder tells how the conflict between the Hostiles and the Friendlies within Oraibi society destroyed their ancient religion.

Before the split, Old Oraibi was a very complicated society. We were involved with different organizations, with fraternities, with groups (comparable to) the Masons, many things we don’t know too much about today. There were fourteen kivas in Old ...

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