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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: Why Ants Are So Thin

Source(s): Kachina Tales from the Indian Pueblos

Author(s): Gene Meany Hodge (Author)

The Hopis say that ants are so thin in the middle of their bodies because they were almost cut in two by the Whipping Katsinas at an initiation.

The busy little Ant village in Hopiland was busier than ever, for the great Ant Chief had told everyone that in four days all the little Ant children between the ages of seven and eleven would be made members of the Katsina Society. The mothers were ...

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Title: The Rescue of Two Mexican Boys

Source(s): Life Among the Apaches

Author(s): John C. Cremony (Author)

An American traveling with the band of Apache chief Mangas Colorado helps to free two young Mexican captives.

It has already been stated that my tent was pitched several hundred yards from the rest of the Commission, and hidden from the view of my companions by an intervening hillock. This fact rendered me far more cautious than I otherwise would have been. ...

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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 Legend of Swift Wind

Source(s): Apache Legends: Songs of the Wind Dancer

Author(s): Lou Cuevas (Author); Lou Cuevas (Author)

The tale of a boy who, transformed into a roadrunner, saves his people from wolves.

Many ages ago, when the land belonged to the ancient Ndee, later known as the Apache, the Swift Wind story came into being. Since then, some have forgotten the tale, some do not understand it. Even today, among many clans, there are few who know of i...

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Title: Something

Source(s): Sofia Poems

Author(s): Joan Logghe (Author)

A poem about Sephardic Jews in New Mexico.

Sofia had a secret even Sofia didn’t know. Something about candles at night, no taste of pork in her grandmother’s house. Something. Shadowed memory of her grandmother in her dark bedroom, her voice nearly a whisper. It passes down through the...

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Title: Penitentes

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief description of the Penitente Brotherhood and the Hispano communities it served.

During the 1600s and 1700s, Hispano settlers in present-day New Mexico lived in small isolated poblaciones, or communities. They built adobe houses, dug acequias (irrigation ditches), and planted their crops along these ditches. The settlers lived in...

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Title: Navajo Code Talkers

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

During World War II, many Navajos serving in the Marine Corps worked as “code talkers,” using a code in the Navajo language that the Japanese forces could not break for relaying information between US troops.

Although the United States government finally granted citizenship to Native Americans in 1924, the states of New Mexico and Arizona denied native people the right to vote until 1948. Nevertheless, during World War I (1917-1919) many Native Americans,...

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Title: The Woman at Otowi Crossing

Author(s): Frank Waters (Author)

An excerpt from a novel about the making of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos and its detonation at White Sands.

This is it, thought Gaylord working in the blinding brilliance of the July sun. Trinity, when he first had heard it, was only a Top-Secret operational code name. Then, when more and more men began to leave Los Alamos and he himself accompanied them, ...

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Title: The Pajarito Plateau and Los Alamos

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A description of the Pajarito Plateau and Los Alamos.

Millions of years ago the Jemez Mountains were formed by volcanic flows. Later eruptions of ash tuff, carved by wind and water, formed the Pajarito [Little Bird] Plateau on the east flank of the Jemez Mountains. The Rio Grande, flowing south through ...

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