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Title: Zuni

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Introduction to Zuni

The Zuni, who call themselves A'shiwi, tell the story that long ago their gods cut off the peoples' tails, split the webs between their toes with stone knives, and led them from the underworld to seek their home in the center of the universe. When at...

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Title: Who Is Chakwaina?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Origins of the Chakwaina katsina.

In 1529, Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Baca and three companions survived a shipwreck at the mouth of what is now known as the Mississippi River. Esteban, a black Moorish slave, was among the survivors. For seven years, the four Spaniards w...

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Title: Zuni Origins and Migrations

Source(s): A Zuni Atlas

Author(s): T.J. Ferguson (Author); E. Richard Hart (Author)

These are some of the stories Zunis tell about the orgin of their people and their migration to the Middle Place.

The Zunis were created in the fourth world. Their immortal gods led them up through the third, second, and first worlds into the light of day. They emerged deep inside a canyon somewhere along the Colorado River. After the people had washed the slime...

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Title: Hopi

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to and overview of the Hopi material in Southwest Crossroads.

The villages of Hopi are the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in North America. Oraibi, the oldest village, dates back to about 1125 A.D. Present-day Hopis live in thirteen villages on and around three mesas in northern Arizona. For hundr...

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Title: Katsinam

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The meaning and origin of katsina rituals.

Katsinam are Hopi spirit messengers who send prayers for rain, bountiful harvests, and a prosperous, healthy life for humankind. They are our friends and visitors who bring gifts and food, as well as messages to teach appropriate behavior and the con...

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Title: Corn

Source(s): The Zuni Indians and Their Uses of Plants

Author(s): Matilda Coxe Stevenson (Author)

Anthropologist Matilda Stevenson describes the many ways in which Zuni people use corn.

Though not indigenous to the United States, corn was the staple food of the inhabitants of the Southwest long before the coming of the Spaniards in the middle of the sixteenth century, having been brought to this section either by peoples migrating f...

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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: 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 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: Fray Juan Ramírez Comes to Acoma

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

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

A novelist's depiction of the arrival of Fray Juan Ramírez in Acoma Pueblo in 1629.

That night Juan Ramírez wrapped himself in a coarse woolen blanket and lay down on the hard ground where he would build his house of worship. He was glad the governor and his entourage had departed. The Acoma had taken down baskets of corn, a few...

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