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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: 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: The Odyssey Ends

Source(s): Indeh: An Apache Odyssey

Author(s): Eugene Chihuahua (Author); Eve Ball (Author)

Apache Eugene Chihuahua remembers what life was like when the US imprisoned his people at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The Comanches, Kiowas, and Kiowa-Apaches hauled us and our handful of possessions to Cache Creek. What blankets and other things we’d put in the baggage cars were destroyed. So we set to work to make brush shelters the old way. Where saplings grew ...

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Title: Hopi Religion and the Missionaries

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

Author(s): Nuvayoiyava (Albert Yava), Tewa Village (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

We old-timers can see that there has been a steady drift away from our traditional attitude toward nature and the universe. What I’m talking about is not the dancing and the kiva paraphernalia, all those visible things. They are only a means of exp...

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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: The Woman at Otowi Crossing

Author(s): Frank Waters (Author)

An excerpt from a novel about the making of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos and its detonation at White Sands.

This is it, thought Gaylord working in the blinding brilliance of the July sun. Trinity, when he first had heard it, was only a Top-Secret operational code name. Then, when more and more men began to leave Los Alamos and he himself accompanied them, ...

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Title: Desert Wife

Author(s): Hilda Faunce (Author)

Hilda Faunce writes about her life at a trading post before the first World War (1914-1918). In this passage, she describes a terrible smallpox epidemic on the reservation.

I never should have supposed I could be calm in a smallpox epidemic. It came upon us suddenly and almost immediately dozens of our friends and customers were dead. The Indians came to the post with their bodies covered with sores; they lay down o...

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Title: The Taking of San Joaquin, October 1966

Source(s): They Called Me “King Tiger”: My Struggle for the Land and Our Rights

Author(s): Reies López Tijerina (Author); José Gutiérrez (Translator)

In the 1960s, Reies Lopez Tijerina organized northern New Mexico villagers as descendants of original land grantees in a series of protests and demonstrations to recover their rights to the land.

That the government would question the right of the people to their land was a cruel and unjust violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. I now sought to open a new door to the halls of justice. When Ed Stanton fought for the grant in Socorro, he...

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Title: To the Country of the People

Source(s): Traders to the Navajo: The Story of the Wetherills at Kayenta

Author(s): Francis Gilmore (Author); Louisa Wade Wetherill (Author)

Louisa and John Wetherill open a trading post on the Navajo reservation in the early 1900s.

....[O]nce more Louisa heard the names of the places they had seen with a strange longing in her heart. A country where there were no white men. A country where the scattered hogans of the people were the only dwelling places. A country from whic...

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