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Title: Zuni-Land in 1882

Source(s): Harper’s Magazine; WPA New Mexico Collections

Author(s): Sylvester Baxter (Author); B. W. Kenney (WPA Field Writer)

Traveler Sylvester Baxter describes the pueblo of Zuni as it appeared in 1882.

We finally reached Zuni at noon. The pueblo lies at the foot of the majestic Thunder Mountain. Close by flows the Zuni River. It is but a trickling stream in the dry season, but becomes a torrent in the rainy seasons. Because of flooding, the pueblo ...

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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: On Story

Source(s): Writing the Southwest

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

A noted Acoma author on the importance of storytelling and poetry to life.

Everything is a story, in the sense that the tradition out of which poetry and song comes is like the story of the life of a people. That is, the culture survives because of the story of its birth, and goes on into its development and to the end of a...

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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: 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: Borrowed Feathers: Don’t Look Up: Back to Life

Source(s): Pueblo Indian Folk Tales

Author(s): Hocheni of Acoma (Author); Elsie Clews Parsons (Oral Historian); N. V. Sanchez (Translator)

Coyote has a hard time with some pigeons and a spider.

Long ago at Hanishoku [a ruin near Acoma] the pigeons (houk) were flying about. They gave Coyote some of their feathers to fly with. Coyote (chuski) was heavy and lagged behind. The pigeons said, “Let us fly up to the water-hole on top of the mesa!...

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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: Coyote and the Stars

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

Author(s): Uwaikwiota (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

The animals were [in this world] first. They were fixing up this earth the way they wanted it. So they put the trees here, they put the mountains here, and the forests here, and so on. They had fixed the stars the way they wanted them to be [but they...

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Title: Calling the Sun to Rise

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

Author(s): Louis Numkena, Sr. (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

The people were living over there at Old Oraibi, a long time ago, before there was any New Oraibi. North of Oraibi a couple of miles are some ruins, and Coyote was living there when this story happened. He was out hunting very early one morning befor...

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Title: The Odyssey Ends

Source(s): Indeh: An Apache Odyssey

Author(s): Eugene Chihuahua (Author); Eve Ball (Author)

Apache Eugene Chihuahua remembers what life was like when the US imprisoned his people at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The Comanches, Kiowas, and Kiowa-Apaches hauled us and our handful of possessions to Cache Creek. What blankets and other things we’d put in the baggage cars were destroyed. So we set to work to make brush shelters the old way. Where saplings grew ...

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