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Title: The Churro

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The introduction of churro sheep by the Spanish and their resulting importance to Navajo culture.

During the sixteenth century, the Spanish brought flocks of churro sheep to the Americas. The churro was an old and hardy breed originating in Spain. It could survive in rugged, dry terrain. Early Spanish, Pueblo, and Navajo weavers prized the long, ...

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Title: Navajo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Navajo history: early migration from Alaska and Canada to encounters with the Spanish and war with the United States; concludes with an account of contemporary Navajo life.

Traditional Navajo, or Diné, stories tell that First Man, First Woman, the Holy People, and all the animals had to pass through three different worlds before emerging into the Fourth or Glittering World. Here, the People saw four rivers bounded by f...

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Title: Navajo Painting: Trading through Paint, Pencil, and Paper

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Use of sand paining and other art materials to depict ceremonial and daily life among the Navajo.

Navajo sand painting is a unique union of ceremony and art. Sand paintings, accompanied by healing songs, can restore a person to hozho. Hozho refers to balance, harmony, universal beauty, and health. A healer creates a sand painting on a hogan floor...

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Title: Acoma

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the history and culture of the people of Acoma.

Tribal elders say that Acoma (sometimes spelled Akome, Acuo, Acuco, Ako and A’ku-me) means “a place that always was.” Archaeologists have found artifacts at digs on Acoma Mesa that speak of prehistoric times. Like its near neighbors Hopi and Zu...

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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: Reies López Tijerina and the Tierra Amarilla Courthouse Raid

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A description of conflicts over land ownership in northern New Mexico. In the 1960s, Reies Lopez Tijerina organized the descendants of the original land grantees in a series of protests and demonstrations to recover their lands.

When the Spaniards claimed northern New Mexico as Spanish land in the 1600s, settlers from Spain and present-day Mexico formed ranching and farming communities on land long occupied by Native Americans. The Spanish authorities awarded land grants to ...

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Title: Who Were the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apaches?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the Lipan and Kiowa-Apache peoples.

Two small Apache tribes, the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apache, lived on the western Great Plains during the early 1600s. Today they have become part of the other Apache tribes. Very few of those living today remember the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apache tribal ...

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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: Hopi

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to and overview of the Hopi material in Southwest Crossroads.

The villages of Hopi are the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in North America. Oraibi, the oldest village, dates back to about 1125 A.D. Present-day Hopis live in thirteen villages on and around three mesas in northern Arizona. For hundr...

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Title: Zuni Salt Lake through the Lens of Time

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Introduction to Salt Lake and its meanings.

In 1598, when Juan de Oñate colonized New Mexico, he sent Marcos Farfán to explore Zuni Salt Lake. Farfán reported that the lake was a marvelous thing; the entire surface was encrusted with salt, except for a place in the center where water bubble...

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