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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: Revised Memorial of 1634

Author(s): Alonso Benavides (Author)

A description of Acoma by a prominent Spanish priest.

To the west of the Rio del Norte, at a distance of thirty leagues, lies the Peñon of Acoma, very famous for the many lives that it has cost both the Spaniards and the Indians. This was not only because it was impregnable but also because of the cour...

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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: 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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Title: The Spanish Siege at Acoma

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo describes the terrible Spanish siege at Acoma in the 1590s.

On the top of the cliff to the south is the old Spanish church which the Spanish fathers forced my people to build by carrying the adobe dirt from the valley below in their shawls, on their backs, up that steep climb. The walls of the church are seve...

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Title: Wheat-Sprout

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo explains why his mother named him "Wheat-Sprout."

It was the wheat cutting time or, as the white people call it, August. The Acomas, my people's tribe, were down at the little irrigated valley, assisting each other to cut the wheat by hand. These wheat fields were small, and had been laboriously pla...

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Title: The Field Chief

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo explains how his grandfather came to be field chief for life.

The water supply of a village is its most important concern, and Acoma, being many hundred feet in the air, is greatly dependent upon the water-holes on top of the mesa. There are three large reservoirs and several smaller ones. No one may wash in th...

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Title: Holding Up the Cliff

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Abbott Sekaquaptewa (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

How Grasshopper outwits the hungry Coyote.

Coyote was living out there south of Oraibi, and one day he was going around looking for something to eat when he saw a grasshopper clinging to the base of a cliff. Coyote thought the grasshopper looked very peculiar, with its legs against the cliff ...

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Title: How the Spaniards Came to Shung-opovi, How They Built a Mission, and How the Hopi Destroyed the Mission

Source(s): Truth of a Hopi

Author(s): Edmund Nequatewa (Author)

It may have taken quite a long time for these villages to be established. Anyway, every place was pretty well settled down when the Spanish came. The Spanish were first heard of at Zuni and then at Awatovi. They came on to Shung-opovi, passing Walpi....

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Title: Boys’ Training

Source(s): Childhood and Youth in Jicarilla Apache Society

Author(s): Traditional; Morris Opler (Editor)

How grandfathers teach their grandsons to be men.

When there are many camps together, they make the boys train together and race against each other. Sometimes a man mounted on a horse rides to a boy. The boy has to catch hold of the mane of the horse and keep up with it without letting go. Sometimes...

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