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Title: Now You Are Beginning Again

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

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

In this passage, Barboncito urges his people to care for their sheep as if they were family members.

“Now you are beginning again. Take care of your sheep, as you would care for your own children. Never kill them for food. If you are hungry, go out! Find the wild plants, find the wild animals, or go without food, for you have done that before! The...

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Title: Zuni-Land in 1882

Source(s): Harper’s Magazine; WPA New Mexico Collections

Author(s): Sylvester Baxter (Author); B. W. Kenney (WPA Field Writer)

Traveler Sylvester Baxter describes the pueblo of Zuni as it appeared in 1882.

We finally reached Zuni at noon. The pueblo lies at the foot of the majestic Thunder Mountain. Close by flows the Zuni River. It is but a trickling stream in the dry season, but becomes a torrent in the rainy seasons. Because of flooding, the pueblo ...

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Title: On Story

Source(s): Writing the Southwest

Author(s): Simon Ortiz (Author); David King Dunaway (Editor); Sara L. Spurgeon (Editor)

A noted Acoma author on the importance of storytelling and poetry to life.

Everything is a story, in the sense that the tradition out of which poetry and song comes is like the story of the life of a people. That is, the culture survives because of the story of its birth, and goes on into its development and to the end of a...

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Title: Enchanted Mesa

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo describes the Enchanted Mesa (Mesa Encantada).

Further on, about eight miles, the Enchanted Mesa appears, and only those who have seen it in the morning light—when the pink and ivory of its sandstone sides towering above you many hundred feet blush in the rays of the rising sun—can realize why ...

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Title: Holding Up the Cliff

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

Author(s): Abbott Sekaquaptewa (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

How Grasshopper outwits the hungry Coyote.

Coyote was living out there south of Oraibi, and one day he was going around looking for something to eat when he saw a grasshopper clinging to the base of a cliff. Coyote thought the grasshopper looked very peculiar, with its legs against the cliff ...

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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: La Llorona [The Wailing Woman]

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

Author(s): Damiano Romero (Author); Nasario García (Editor)

Damiano Romero of the Río Puerco Valley tells his version of the traditional legend of La Llorona (the Wailing Woman).

Well I don’t believe there was such a thing as the Wailing Woman, but many people claimed that it was the Wailing Woman. I used to spend a lot of time in the countryside, and one night there was a cry. It seemed like the cry of a lion; it resembled...

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Title: El Hijadero [The Kidding Season]

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

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

Eduardo Valdez describes the kidding season in the Río Puerco Valley.

Well, ah, I started to raise animals from when I was about ten years of age. There were a lot of people back in those days, in those places in the Río Puerco, who had lots of goats. Lots! At the time of the kidding season, do you understand? At the ...

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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: The Old Spanish Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of the Old Spanish Trail that traders traveled on between California and New Mexico.

Less well known today than the Old Santa Fe Trail, the Old Spanish Trail was a dynamic feature of the early days in the Spanish American Southwest. Long before the explorers and missionaries from Spain worked their way up from Old Mexico into Alta Ca...

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