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Title: The Bird Man

Source(s): Two Guadalupes: Hispanic Legends and Magic Tales from Northern New Mexico

Author(s): Traditional; Marta Weigle (Editor)

A traditional Spanish tale about a prince who became a bird and then a king.

Once upon a time there lived a king who had three sons. Now the first wife of the king had died and the king had married again. The stepmother of the three boys was very mean. She treated her stepsons very badly. One day she stood in the door of t...

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Title: Two Lives for Oñate

Author(s): Miguel Encinias (Author)

An excerpt from a novel about Juan de Oñate's campaign to conquer New Mexico in 1598-99.

On 12 January 1599, Zaldívar set out for Acoma with seventy soldiers and instructions to demand the delivery of those guilty for the attack on the Spaniards and, failing to achieve that, to wage relentless war and to take all of the inhabitants pris...

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Title: Uncle Tells a Story

Source(s): Writing the Southwest

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

Uncle Page talks about the last time he went hunting.

“Uncle, tell us a story,” people would say, “Tell us about the time you went to the mountains to hunt.” And the old man, Page, would say, “Well, I don’t really want to; I don’t have any stories.” “Please, Uncle,” they would ...

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Title: Palöngawhoya Soy Niina (How Palöngawhoya Killed His Grandmother)

Source(s): Hopitutuwutsi Hopi Tales: A Bilingual Collection of Hopi Indian Stories

Author(s): Herschel Talashoma (Author); Ekkehart Malotki (Author)

Aliksa’i. They were living at Pöqangwwawarpi. The Pöqangwhoya twins had their house there. The brothers were little boys. Pöqangwhoya was the older’s name; the younger was called Palöngawhoya. They had only their grandmother to live with, and a...

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Title: Hunting Lesson

Source(s): Childhood and Youth in Jicarilla Apache Society

Author(s): Traditional; Morris Opler (Editor)

How grandfathers teach their grandsons to be good hunters.

The grandfather goes out with the boy. They build a camp. That night the grandfather tells the boy how to hunt and advises him about what he cannot do. The grandfather, if he knows how, will take the upper foot pad [dewclaw] of the cougar, dry it,...

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Title: The Four Worlds and the Emergence

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

Author(s): Nuvayoiyava (Albert Yava), Tewa Village, August 1969 (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

From what I learned from the old-timers about the underworld and how the people emerged into this last world, they weren’t people in the First World, they were what you might call just creatures, bugs. Finally some good spirit turned them into diff...

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Title: The Arrival of My Mother —New Mexico Territory, 1906

Source(s): Lion’s Gate Selected Poems 1963-1986

Author(s): Keith Wilson (Author)

Poem describing the author’s mother’s arrival in New Mexico territory at the age of 25.

She got off, according to her diary, dressed in a lovely beaded gown, fresh from Washington with sixteen trunks of ballgowns, chemises, blouses (4 Middle), shoes and assorted lingerie. She was at that time about 25, old for an unmarried wom...

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Title: Reies López Tijerina and the Tierra Amarilla Courthouse Raid

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A description of conflicts over land ownership in northern New Mexico. In the 1960s, Reies Lopez Tijerina organized the descendants of the original land grantees in a series of protests and demonstrations to recover their lands.

When the Spaniards claimed northern New Mexico as Spanish land in the 1600s, settlers from Spain and present-day Mexico formed ranching and farming communities on land long occupied by Native Americans. The Spanish authorities awarded land grants to ...

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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: Horse-Breaking

Source(s): Recollections of a Western Ranchman; Horse-Breaking and Cattle-Rustling

Author(s): Captain William French (Author)

Recollections of ranching in southwestern New Mexico, near the town of Alma, 1883-1899.

When I got down, there were two or three [horses] in the corral in various phases of being roped and saddled with their prospective riders attending to them. The rest of the outfit were seated on the gate or in its neighborhood, and amongst them I re...

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