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Title: Zuni

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Introduction to Zuni

The Zuni, who call themselves A'shiwi, tell the story that long ago their gods cut off the peoples' tails, split the webs between their toes with stone knives, and led them from the underworld to seek their home in the center of the universe. When at...

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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: Muster Roll

Source(s): Majestic Journey: Coronado’s Inland Empire

Author(s): Stewart L. Udall (Author)

Before Coronado’s expedition into New Mexico, a muster roll was taken describing each traveler in detail.

We know a lot about events that day at Compostela— exactly 192 years before George Washington was born in 1732—because Don Antonio had issued an order that each soldier would pass before an inspector and declare his possessions. Thus, diligent sc...

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Title: Expedition into New Mexico Made by Antonio de Espejo 1582-1583 as Revealed in the Journal of Diego Pérez de Luxan, a Member of the Party

Author(s): Diego Pérez de Luxan (Author); George Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

A merchant from New Spain journeys north as head of a relief party to find two Franciscan monks. Here he describes what his party found at Zuni.

We set out from this place on the fourteenth of the month and marched a league. We halted at the first pueblo of the province of Zuni which they called Malaque, in which we had a row of houses (for our use), and they gave us to eat of what they had u...

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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: 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: Alvarado’s Route

Source(s): Narratives of the Coronado Expedition 1540-1542

Author(s): Don Hernando Alvarado (Author); George P. Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

An account of Don Hernando Alvarado’s travels among the Pueblos in 1540.

“We came to an old edifice resembling a fortress; a league farther on we found another one, and a little farther on still another. Beyond these we came to an ancient city, quite large but all in ruins, although a considerable portion of the wall, w...

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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: Acoma Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Acoma pottery in the past and today.

From earliest times, Pueblo Indian potters have made ceramic pots for practical daily use. Pueblo people carried, cooked, and stored water and food in pottery. They also used it for ceremonial purposes. The exceptional quality of Acoma pottery made i...

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Title: Acoma Pottery Design Motifs

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The development of bread bowls and an explanation of common design motifs.

Bread Bowls When the Spaniards introduced wheat and various fruits and vegetables to the Southwest, the Acomas and Lagunas began to need new sizes and shapes of vessels for food preparation and storage. One of these was the large dough bowl, up to 1...

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