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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: Early Life

Source(s): Geronimo: His Own Story

Author(s): Geronimo (Author); S. M. Barrett (Oral Historian)

Famed Chiricahua Apache war chief Geronimo speaks of his childhood and how a boy becomes a warrior. As Told to S. M. Barrett.

I was born in No-doyohn Cañon, Arizona, June, 1829. In that country which lies around the headwaters of the Gila River I was reared. This range was our fatherland; among these mountains our wigwams were hidden; the scattered valleys contained our fi...

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Title: Corn

Source(s): The Zuni Indians and Their Uses of Plants

Author(s): Matilda Coxe Stevenson (Author)

Anthropologist Matilda Stevenson describes the many ways in which Zuni people use corn.

Though not indigenous to the United States, corn was the staple food of the inhabitants of the Southwest long before the coming of the Spaniards in the middle of the sixteenth century, having been brought to this section either by peoples migrating f...

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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: 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: Fray Juan Ramírez Comes to Acoma

Source(s): K’atsina: A Novel of Rebellion

Author(s): Lana M. Harrigan (Author)

A novelist's depiction of the arrival of Fray Juan Ramírez in Acoma Pueblo in 1629.

That night Juan Ramírez wrapped himself in a coarse woolen blanket and lay down on the hard ground where he would build his house of worship. He was glad the governor and his entourage had departed. The Acoma had taken down baskets of corn, a few...

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Title: Borrowed Feathers: Don’t Look Up: Back to Life

Source(s): Pueblo Indian Folk Tales

Author(s): Hocheni of Acoma (Author); Elsie Clews Parsons (Oral Historian); N. V. Sanchez (Translator)

Coyote has a hard time with some pigeons and a spider.

Long ago at Hanishoku [a ruin near Acoma] the pigeons (houk) were flying about. They gave Coyote some of their feathers to fly with. Coyote (chuski) was heavy and lagged behind. The pigeons said, “Let us fly up to the water-hole on top of the mesa!...

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Title: Traditional Apache Life

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An overview of some important events and themes in the lives of Apaches.

The Athapaskan peoples migrated south from Alaska and Canada and eventually split into seven distinct groups. By 1500, they occupied a vast expanse of territory in the American Southwest. The extreme environments they inhabited—mountains, deserts, ...

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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: Taos Pueblo Stereoview, ca. 1900

Source(s): Pueblo of Taos Indians

Author(s): Unidentified (Photographer)

As in Ancient Days, Pueblo of the Taos Indians, Taos, N. Mex.

The Pueblo Indians of the Southwest were very different from those farther east and north. They were partially civilized and knew how to weave baskets and blankets and to make pottery. They are rather shorter and darker in color than other Indian...

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