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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 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: 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: Border Town: 1938

Source(s): Borders

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem about a child’s experience of racial segregation.

She counts cement cracks little Esperanza with the long brown braids, counts so as not to hear the girls in the playground singing, “the farmer's in the dell the farmer's in the dell” laughing and running round-round while little Esp...

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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: ¡Baile y baile y sin harina! [Broke, but Dancing Up a Storm!]

Source(s): Abuelitos: Stories of the Río Puerco

Author(s): Teodorita García-Ruelas (Author); Nasario García (Editor)

Teodorita García-Ruelas remembers the early days ranching and farming in the Rio Puerco Valley.

Oh! The rancher’s life is the happiest in the world, because you’re your own boss, and everything you raise goes farther. I don’t know what it is, but like today’s jobs, they don’t last. But the rancher’s life is the happiest. Well, a...

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Title: Woodstove of My Childhood

Source(s): In the Gathering Silence

Author(s): Levi Romero (Author)

A poet describes the woodstove that heated his childhood home in northern New Mexico.

woodstove of my childhood where potatoes cut like triangle chips were fried in manteca de marrano woodstove of lazy autumn smoke swirling away to nowhere woodstove of December evacuating the cold chill at sunrise woodstove of celebrati...

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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: Whitewater Gila

Source(s): Gila Descending: A Southwestern Journey

Author(s): M. H. Salmon (Author)

The author canoes down the Gila River of New Mexico and Arizona with his dog and his cat.

I hadn’t been close to a canoe or held a paddle in my hands for many years. The first thing I did was misjudge the current and was nearly swept into the pilings under the East Fork Bridge. Recovering in time (“steady all”) I waved my paddle at ...

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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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