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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: 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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Title: Pérez de Villagrá’s Cantos

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá's poetic history of Spanish battles with Pueblo people in New Mexico in the 1590s.

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: How the World Began

Source(s): When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away

Author(s): Ramon A. Gutíerrez (Author)

A noted scholar tells the story of how the world began according to the people of Acoma.

In the beginning two females were born underneath the earth at a place called Shipapu. In total darkness Tsichtinako (Thought Woman) nursed the sisters, taught them language and gave them each a basket that their father Uchtsiti had sent them contain...

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Title: As for the Natives

Author(s): Diego de Vargas (Author)

Diego de Vargas’ comment on the people of Acoma when he returned to New Mexico in 1692.

“...As for the natives of the rock of Acoma, since they are a distance of twenty-four leagues from Isleta, and also those of the province of Zuni, they may be left as they are.”

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Title: Carl Meets His Cousin-Brother

Source(s): Katzimo, Mysterious Mesa

Author(s): Bobette Bibo Gugliotta (Author)

The son of an Acoma mother and a German-Jewish father visits his mother's village for the first time and meets his cousin.

With a quick motion of his hand Horace indicated the path that the group was ascending. “Do you want to walk up the foot trail or do you want to climb the split trail?” He threw the choice at Carl like a challenge. Without hesitating Carl repl...

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Title: Uncle Tells a Story

Source(s): Writing the Southwest

Author(s): Simon Ortiz (Author); David King Dunaway (Editor); Sara L. Spurgeon (Editor)

Uncle Page talks about the last time he went hunting.

“Uncle, tell us a story,” people would say, “Tell us about the time you went to the mountains to hunt.” And the old man, Page, would say, “Well, I don’t really want to; I don’t have any stories.” “Please, Uncle,” they would ...

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Title: Going to Acoma

Source(s): Flaming Arrow’’s People by an Acoma Indian

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo describes the way from Albuquerque to Acoma.

If you go along the Santa Fe Trail about sixty-five miles west of Albuquerque, you will come to the ancient village of Laguna. These Laguna Indians used to belong to the tribe of Acoma Indians, but their ancestors quarreled in the olden days, and cam...

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Title: Enchanted Mesa

Source(s): Flaming Arrow’’s People by an Acoma Indian

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo describes the Enchanted Mesa (Mesa Encantada).

Further on, about eight miles, the Enchanted Mesa appears, and only those who have seen it in the morning light—when the pink and ivory of its sandstone sides towering above you many hundred feet blush in the rays of the rising sun—can realize why ...

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