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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: 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: 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: How the Spaniards Came to Shung-opovi, How They Built a Mission, and How the Hopi Destroyed the Mission

Source(s): Truth of a Hopi

Author(s): Edmund Nequatewa (Author)

It may have taken quite a long time for these villages to be established. Anyway, every place was pretty well settled down when the Spanish came. The Spanish were first heard of at Zuni and then at Awatovi. They came on to Shung-opovi, passing Walpi....

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Title: Boys’ Training

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

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

How grandfathers teach their grandsons to be men.

When there are many camps together, they make the boys train together and race against each other. Sometimes a man mounted on a horse rides to a boy. The boy has to catch hold of the mane of the horse and keep up with it without letting go. Sometimes...

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Title: San Carlos Reservation

Source(s): Indeh: An Apache Odyssey

Author(s): Asa (Ace) Daklugie (Author); Eve Ball (Editor)

Asa Daklugie describes the San Carlos reservation.

San Carlos! That was the worst place in all the great territory stolen from the Apaches. If anybody had ever lived there permanently, no Apache knew of it. Where there is no grass there is no game. Nearly all of the vegetation was cacti; and though i...

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Title: Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat: A Navaho Autobiography

Author(s): Walter Dyk (Author)

A detailed description by Walt Dyk of how prayers and songs were handed on, from father to (in this case) nephew.

That winter, while we lived on Black Mountain at Willows Coming Out, Who Has Mules came to our place. I was out herding. When I returned with the sheep towards evening he came out of the hogan and rode away. He’d been with my father all day; they m...

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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: Desert Wife

Author(s): Hilda Faunce (Author)

Hilda Faunce writes about her life at a trading post before the first World War (1914-1918). In this passage, she describes a terrible smallpox epidemic on the reservation.

I never should have supposed I could be calm in a smallpox epidemic. It came upon us suddenly and almost immediately dozens of our friends and customers were dead. The Indians came to the post with their bodies covered with sores; they lay down o...

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Title: To the Country of the People

Source(s): Traders to the Navajo: The Story of the Wetherills at Kayenta

Author(s): Francis Gilmore (Author); Louisa Wade Wetherill (Author)

Louisa and John Wetherill open a trading post on the Navajo reservation in the early 1900s.

....[O]nce more Louisa heard the names of the places they had seen with a strange longing in her heart. A country where there were no white men. A country where the scattered hogans of the people were the only dwelling places. A country from whic...

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