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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: The Origins of Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

When people started to make pottery and how it changed their societies.

Small bands of indigenous peoples roamed the American Southwest between 10,000 BCE and 1000 CE. They moved around following game and gathering whatever plants were in season. They may have carried their belongings and foodstuffs in baskets. Peopl...

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Title: Acoma Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Acoma pottery in the past and today.

From earliest times, Pueblo Indian potters have made ceramic pots for practical daily use. Pueblo people carried, cooked, and stored water and food in pottery. They also used it for ceremonial purposes. The exceptional quality of Acoma pottery made i...

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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: The Moqui Nation

Source(s): Fray Alonso de Benavides’ Revised Memorial of 1634

Author(s): Fray Alonso de Benavides (Author); George P. Hammond (Editor); Agapito Rey (Editor)

An account of how Fray Francisco de Porras arrived at Hopi and established the mission of San Bernardo.

Traveling another thirty leagues in the same westward direction, one reaches the province and nation of Moqui [Hopi], which is of the same character as the above- mentioned Zuni, both in products and climate; it has also ten thousand souls. They diff...

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Title: How Don Pedro de Tovar Discovered Tusayan

Source(s): The Journey of Coronado 1540-1542; (Chapter XI)

Author(s): George Parker Winship (Editor)

How Don Pedro de Tovar discovered Tusayan or Tutahaco and Don García López de Cárdenas saw the Firebrand River and the other things that happened. While the things already described were taking place, Cíbola being at peace, the General Francis...

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Title: Navajo Weaving: A Study in Cultural Change and Adaptability

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The development of Navajo weaving for individual use and for trade.

Navajos say Spider Woman taught them to weave with directions from Spider Man. Spider Woman’s woven cross still appears in Navajo weaving today. The early Navajos were a nomadic hunting and gathering people. Navajo weaving tells a story of their...

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Title: Laguna

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

People from neighboring Acoma and other pueblos established Laguna Pueblo in the last years of the 1600s. In 1699, Governor Cubero of Nuevo México formally named the pueblo San José de la Laguna (“Saint Joseph of the Lake”). The name refers to ...

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Title: A Voice

Source(s): My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing the narrator’s mother’s struggle to learn English.

Even the lights on the stage unrelenting as the desert sun couldn’t hide the other students, their eyes also unrelenting, students who spoke English every night as they ate their meat, potatoes, gravy. Not you. In your house that smelled lik...

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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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