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Title: A Zuni Life: A Pueblo Indian in Two Worlds

Author(s): Virgil Wyaco (Author)

A Zuni Indian writes about leaving the pueblo to attend the BIA boarding school in Albuquerque in 1936.

In 1936, when I was in the sixth grade, I heard about the Indian School in Albuquerque, one of the BIA boarding schools, and I thought about having a different lifestyle and learning new things in a big city. My principal, Mrs. Gonzales, sent in an a...

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Title: Early Life

Source(s): Geronimo: His Own Story

Author(s): Geronimo (Author); S. M. Barrett (Oral Historian)

Famed Chiricahua Apache war chief Geronimo speaks of his childhood and how a boy becomes a warrior. As Told to S. M. Barrett.

I was born in No-doyohn Cañon, Arizona, June, 1829. In that country which lies around the headwaters of the Gila River I was reared. This range was our fatherland; among these mountains our wigwams were hidden; the scattered valleys contained our fi...

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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: Barboncito’s Speech to General Sherman at Fort Sumner

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

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

The Navajo leader Barboncito tells General Sherman to release the Navajos from captivity at Fort Sumner.

Bringing us here has made many of us die, also a great number of our animals. Our Grandfathers had no idea of living in any other place except our own land, and I don't think it is right for us to do what we were taught not to do. When the Navajo wer...

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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: 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: Wheat-Sprout

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo explains why his mother named him "Wheat-Sprout."

It was the wheat cutting time or, as the white people call it, August. The Acomas, my people's tribe, were down at the little irrigated valley, assisting each other to cut the wheat by hand. These wheat fields were small, and had been laboriously pla...

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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: Turkey Makes the Corn and Coyote Plants It

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Turkey teaches people how to grow corn, but Coyote doesn't learn the lesson.

Long ago when all the animals talked like people, Turkey overheard a boy begging his sister for food. “What does your little brother want?” he asked the girl. “He’s hungry, but we have nothing to eat,” she said. When Turkey heard this...

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