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Title: Turquoise Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise trade and Zuni jewelry.

The Zuni traded for turquoise stones for hundreds of years. They traded with the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Indians who had access to the turquoise mines. Later on the Spanish seized control of the mines. In the late 1800s Anglo mining interests took ...

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Title: Who Is Chakwaina?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Origins of the Chakwaina katsina.

In 1529, Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Baca and three companions survived a shipwreck at the mouth of what is now known as the Mississippi River. Esteban, a black Moorish slave, was among the survivors. For seven years, the four Spaniards w...

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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 Origins and Migrations

Source(s): A Zuni Atlas

Author(s): T.J. Ferguson (Author); E. Richard Hart (Author)

These are some of the stories Zunis tell about the orgin of their people and their migration to the Middle Place.

The Zunis were created in the fourth world. Their immortal gods led them up through the third, second, and first worlds into the light of day. They emerged deep inside a canyon somewhere along the Colorado River. After the people had washed the slime...

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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