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Title: Zuni Pueblo Rainbow Dance Song

Source(s): Music of New Mexico-Native American Traditions

Author(s): Edward Wapp Wahpeconiah (Comanche and Sac-Fox) (Author); Fernando Cellicion, Alton Nastacio, Florentine Johnson (singers) (Performer)

The Zuni Rainbow Dance is connected with agriculture and functions as a prayer offering for rain.

The Zuni have a large repertoire of religious and secular dances. Some of their nonreligious dances, such as the Rainbow Dance, are presented as show dances and can be performed outside of the Pueblo for fairs, festivals, and tourist entertainment. T...

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Title: The Wedding of the Louse and the Nit

Source(s): La Musica de los Viejitos: Hispano Folk Music of the Rio Grande del Norte

Author(s): Abade Martinez, arranger (Musician); Jack Loeffler (Editor)

A song the conquistadores may have sung as they marched to New Mexico.

The louse and the nit were going to be wed, but marry they couldn't, because there was no bread. chorus: Dee-da-la, dee-da-la, dee-da la dee-da-la, dee-da-la,dee-da-dam A cow calls out, from her corral “Carry on with the wedding, sinc...

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Title: The Vengeance of Gouyen

Source(s): Indeh: An Apache Odyssey

Author(s): Eve Ball (Author); Nora Henn (Author); Lynda A. Sanchez

The widow Gouyen seeks revenge against a Comanche chief for killing her husband.

The Apache girl lay in the brush arbor of her mother-in-law waiting for the older woman to sleep. Her name is one the Apaches are forbidden to mention and she is known today only as Gouyen, Wise Woman, a term reserved only for the intelligent and cha...

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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: About the Snake Dance

Source(s): Dancing Gods: Indian Ceremonials of New Mexico and Arizona

Author(s): Erna Fergusson (Author)

Undoubtedly the Snake Dance is the most ancient ceremony we still may see, for it is the direct worship of the clan ancestor, who is the snake. [Anthropologist Jesse] Fewkes, who holds this opinion, says that the dance was also originally a water cer...

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Title: The Snake Dance

Source(s): Dancing Gods: Indian Ceremonials of New Mexico and Arizona

Author(s): Erna Fergusson (Author)

In time, a long time, the warning rattling is heard and the antelope priests appear, walking quickly. They repeat the evolution of the day before, and their costumes are the same, but the effect somehow is much more tense. The whole crowd is held sil...

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Title: The Snake Legend

Source(s): Dancing Gods: Indian Ceremonials of New Mexico and Arizona

Author(s): Erna Fergusson (Author)

Once a chief’s son sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon, wondering where all that water went. He thought that he might be able to help his people if he should follow it; so, on the advice of his father, he built a boat, enclosed like a box, and set ...

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Title: Alabados

Source(s): Brothers of Light: The Penitentes of the Southwest

Author(s): Alice Corbin Henderson (Author)

A description of traditional Spanish alabados, or hymns, that the Penitentes sang during their rituals.

Parts of the Penitente ritual have an ancestry of great age. This is particularly true of the alabados, or hymns, patiently written down in small copybooks or transmitted by memory. In verse forms these alabados have the earmarks of Fifteenth- or Six...

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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: Apache Mothers and Daughters: Four Generations of a Family

Author(s): Ruth McDonald Boyer (Author); Narcissus Duffy Gayton (Author)

Remembrances of an Apache elder woman.

Between the times of battle the family traveled throughout Tchihéné lands and beyond. Usually it was in quest of plant foods or game, but whatever their reason, the journeys provided Dilth-cleyhen’s maternal kin time to inform the youngster more ...

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