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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: 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: 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: The Flaming Arrow Katsina

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

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo tells the story of the katsina whose name he bears.

This is the story of the Katsina for whom I was named. It happened that the Sun had a boy born on the earth. The life of this boy came to his mother by the Sun’s rays shining through the gypsum rock window, and when the boy grew up he looked sha...

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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: 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: 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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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: ¡Baile y baile y sin harina! [Broke, but Dancing Up a Storm!]

Source(s): Abuelitos: Stories of the Río Puerco

Author(s): Teodorita García-Ruelas (Author); Nasario García (Editor)

Teodorita García-Ruelas remembers the early days ranching and farming in the Rio Puerco Valley.

Oh! The rancher’s life is the happiest in the world, because you’re your own boss, and everything you raise goes farther. I don’t know what it is, but like today’s jobs, they don’t last. But the rancher’s life is the happiest. Well, a...

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Title: La Yarda de la Escuelita

Source(s): Voces: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicano Writers

Author(s): José Montoya (Author); Rudolfo A. Anaya (Editor)

A poem about a child’s schoolyard, in Spanish only.

La escuelita al pie del monte Es chica, así es que Los niños vienen en varios tamaños, Unos pequeños y ya en el libro ocho Otros altos, galgos Y apenas en el tercero. Alrededor de la maestra. Acurrucados de miedo—como pollitos— Se a...

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