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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: 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: Zuni Pottery Designs

Source(s): The Pueblo Potter: A Study of Creative Imagination in Primitive Art

Author(s): Ruth Bunzel (Author)

Zuni pottery designs.

The Deer’s House (nawe awan k”yakwenne) Use: On the body of water jars or the interior of bowls. “We paint the deer so that our husbands can have good luck hunting. Deerskins are so expensive we cannot buy them anymore, and so we like to have ...

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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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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: Don Gato (The Lord Sir Cat)

Source(s): Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest

Author(s): Traditional; John Donald Robb (Author)

A traditional Spanish ballad about a cat.

1 There was a lord, Sir cat, Seated in a gilded chair, Wearing silk stockings And little embroidered slippers. 2 One day his friend dropped by And asked if he'd like to marry A Moorish lady cat Who was walking by on a roof. 3 The cat o...

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Title: Declaration of Status

Source(s): Don Juan de Oñate, Colonizer of New Mexico, 1595-1628

Author(s): Isabel la mulata (Author); George Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

Isabel, a woman of Indian and African descent, obtains proof of her freedom before traveling to New Mexico in 1600.

In the town of Querétaro in New Spain, January 8, 1600, there appeared before Don Pedro Lorenzo de Castilla, his majesty's alcalde mayor in this town, a mulatto woman named Isabel, who presented herself before his grace in the appropriate legal mann...

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Title: Gaspar Villagrá and the Story of His Epic Adventure in the Upper Rio Grande

Source(s): Trail Dust

Author(s): Marc Simmons (Author); Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá (Author)

Historian Marc Simmons sketches the life of Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, poet-historian of the Spanish conquest.

Captain Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá published an epic poem in 1610. Written in classical style, it was fashioned in imitation of the Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil. The poem bore the rather colorless name, Historia de la Nueva Mexico. Villagrá is...

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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: 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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