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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: 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: The Revolt Begins

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

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

In this novel, a Spanish-Acoma man and his family face the Pueblo Revolt.

By the next moon, Diego returned. The small, wiry Apache seemed made only of hardened sinew. In his black, piercing eyes burned a fire so intense it might have had its origin in Hell. No emotion showed on Hishti’s face as the husband she had not se...

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Title: How the Hopis Got Fire

Source(s): Hopi Animal Stories

Author(s): Ekkehart Malotki (Author); Michael Lomatuway'ma, Lorena Lomatuway'ma, and Sidney Namingha (narrators) (Performer)

Aliksa’i. Long ago when the Hopis first arrived in this area, it used to get very cold at night and they were freezing and miserable. In the mornings, as they looked east, they would see smoke rising in the air. There had to be fire somewhere, so t...

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Title: Martyrdom of the Blessed Father

Source(s): Fray Alonso de Benavides' Revised Memorial of 1634

Author(s): Fray Francisco de Porras, at Moqui (Author); George P. Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

How Fray Francisco de Porras cured a blind boy through prayer, and converted many of the Moqui Indians.

From the time this blessed father [Fray Francisco de Porras] took holy orders in San Francisco de México, he had been a religious of exemplary life. For this reason, the order retained him as master of novices for so many years that they considered ...

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Title: The Legend of Swift Wind

Source(s): Apache Legends: Songs of the Wind Dancer

Author(s): Lou Cuevas (Author); Lou Cuevas (Author)

The tale of a boy who, transformed into a roadrunner, saves his people from wolves.

Many ages ago, when the land belonged to the ancient Ndee, later known as the Apache, the Swift Wind story came into being. Since then, some have forgotten the tale, some do not understand it. Even today, among many clans, there are few who know of i...

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Title: A Voice

Source(s): My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing the narrator’s mother’s struggle to learn English.

Even the lights on the stage unrelenting as the desert sun couldn’t hide the other students, their eyes also unrelenting, students who spoke English every night as they ate their meat, potatoes, gravy. Not you. In your house that smelled lik...

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Title: The Arrival of My Mother —New Mexico Territory, 1906

Source(s): Lion’s Gate Selected Poems 1963-1986

Author(s): Keith Wilson (Author)

Poem describing the author’s mother’s arrival in New Mexico territory at the age of 25.

She got off, according to her diary, dressed in a lovely beaded gown, fresh from Washington with sixteen trunks of ballgowns, chemises, blouses (4 Middle), shoes and assorted lingerie. She was at that time about 25, old for an unmarried wom...

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Title: Bailando en Sombras

Author(s): María L. Leyba (Author)

A poet dreams of her lost mother.

I lay curled in a veil of luto wide awake, eyelids that refuse to close hungry for my Mother's Tongue my restless soul drawn like magnets to sacred grounds donde bailo en sombras buscando mi querida madrecita. Mama's favorite rancheras echo i...

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