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Title: 1910

Source(s): Chants

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem about discrimination along the Texas-Mexico border.

In Mexico they bowed their heads when she passed. Timid villagers stepped aside for the Judge's mother, Doña Luz, who wore her black shawl, black gloves whenever she left her home— at the church, the mercado, and the plaza in th...

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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: Why Ants Are So Thin

Source(s): Kachina Tales from the Indian Pueblos

Author(s): Gene Meany Hodge (Author)

The Hopis say that ants are so thin in the middle of their bodies because they were almost cut in two by the Whipping Katsinas at an initiation.

The busy little Ant village in Hopiland was busier than ever, for the great Ant Chief had told everyone that in four days all the little Ant children between the ages of seven and eleven would be made members of the Katsina Society. The mothers were ...

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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: Hunting Lesson

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

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

How grandfathers teach their grandsons to be good hunters.

The grandfather goes out with the boy. They build a camp. That night the grandfather tells the boy how to hunt and advises him about what he cannot do. The grandfather, if he knows how, will take the upper foot pad [dewclaw] of the cougar, dry it,...

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Title: Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat: A Navaho Autobiography

Author(s): Walter Dyk (Author)

A detailed description by Walt Dyk of how prayers and songs were handed on, from father to (in this case) nephew.

That winter, while we lived on Black Mountain at Willows Coming Out, Who Has Mules came to our place. I was out herding. When I returned with the sheep towards evening he came out of the hogan and rode away. He’d been with my father all day; they m...

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Title: Grandfather

Source(s): Voices from the Rio Grande: Selections from the first Rio Grande Writers Conference

Author(s): Leroy Quintana (Author)

A poet writes about his grandfather, who long ago walked barefoot to Wyoming to herd sheep.

Grandfather, who planted corn every year walked to Wyoming to herd sheep so many times he said he couldn't remember how many I have been told that in his youth it took two men to wrestle him off his feet As an old man shouldered railr...

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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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Title: Horse-Breaking

Source(s): Recollections of a Western Ranchman; Horse-Breaking and Cattle-Rustling

Author(s): Captain William French (Author)

Recollections of ranching in southwestern New Mexico, near the town of Alma, 1883-1899.

When I got down, there were two or three [horses] in the corral in various phases of being roped and saddled with their prospective riders attending to them. The rest of the outfit were seated on the gate or in its neighborhood, and amongst them I re...

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Title: A Mexican War

Author(s): Captain William French (Author); Recollections of a Western Ranchman

Recollections of ranching in southwestern New Mexico, near the town of Alma, 1883-1899.

After Thanksgiving we settled down to our usual routine. Things were going along smoothly when one afternoon we were startled by a messenger from our friends at the SU (ranch). This man brought word that there was trouble between the Mexicans and the...

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