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Title: Keneshde Tells His Story

Source(s): The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths

Author(s): Keneshde (Author); John Adair (Author)

A Zuni silversmith tells how he got the first piece of turquoise when he was fifteen from a mine east of Santo Domingo.

When I was a boy about fifteen years old, I used to help Kwaisedemon, who was my grandfather, make silver. He was my father's father, and at that time he was an old man. It was hard work for him to pound out silver, so I used to do that for him. In r...

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Title: Barboncito’s Speech to General Sherman at Fort Sumner

Source(s): Dinétah: An Early History of the Navajo People

Author(s): Barboncito (Author); Lawrence D. Sundberg (Author)

The Navajo leader Barboncito tells General Sherman to release the Navajos from captivity at Fort Sumner.

Bringing us here has made many of us die, also a great number of our animals. Our Grandfathers had no idea of living in any other place except our own land, and I don't think it is right for us to do what we were taught not to do. When the Navajo wer...

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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: The Flaming Arrow Katsina

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo tells the story of the katsina whose name he bears.

This is the story of the Katsina for whom I was named. It happened that the Sun had a boy born on the earth. The life of this boy came to his mother by the Sun’s rays shining through the gypsum rock window, and when the boy grew up he looked sha...

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Title: First Mesa Pottery

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

Author(s): Dewey Healing (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

Some Hopis say they taught us Tewas in Tewa Village how to make pottery. That’s all wrong, of course. Tewas were making pottery back in Tsewageh before they came here. At one time the people on First Mesa had just about stopped making pottery altog...

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Title: The Creation of Man

Source(s): Myths and Tales of the Jicarilla Apache Indians

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

How Hactcin created human beings.

In the beginning the dog was just like a Hactcin in appearance. This was because the Hactcin made everything. He was listless, however, and didn’t do anything. And Hactcin noticed this and spoke to him. He said, “Why don’t you do something? ...

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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: 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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Title: Agarró nomás la Cuarto [He Just Grabbed the Whip]

Source(s): Abuelitos: Stories of the Rio Puerco Valley

Author(s): Eduardo Valdez (Author); Nasario García (Editor)

Oral historian Nasario García interviewed many elders from the Río Puerco area of New Mexico, including Eduardo Valdez, who remembers the early days and the best cowboy around, Don Teodoro.

This Don Teodoro, and several others, not only him, because there were several horsemen there in Guadalupe, they say one day they penned up a herd of horses in a corral. And long ago they used to put two long poles on the corral and then they'd put a...

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