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Title: Nampeyo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

How Nampeyo revived old design traditions among Hopi potters.

During the 1870s and 1880s, a young Hopi woman named Nampeyo searched for potsherds in the ancient village of Sikyatki on First Mesa. Nampeyo was the daughter of Qotca Ka-o (White Corn), who was a member of the Tewa Corn Clan. Her Hopi father was a ...

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Title: Hopi Weaving

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of weaving among the Hopi.

The origins of Hopi weaving extend deep in time. For many centuries, Hopi men grew short-staple cotton that they spun into thread and then wove into fabric. They used an upright loom to weave blankets and cloth. The fabric was made into everyday clot...

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Title: Acoma Pottery

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Acoma pottery in the past and today.

From earliest times, Pueblo Indian potters have made ceramic pots for practical daily use. Pueblo people carried, cooked, and stored water and food in pottery. They also used it for ceremonial purposes. The exceptional quality of Acoma pottery made i...

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Title: Navajo Painting: Trading through Paint, Pencil, and Paper

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Use of sand paining and other art materials to depict ceremonial and daily life among the Navajo.

Navajo sand painting is a unique union of ceremony and art. Sand paintings, accompanied by healing songs, can restore a person to hozho. Hozho refers to balance, harmony, universal beauty, and health. A healer creates a sand painting on a hogan floor...

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Title: Navajo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Navajo history: early migration from Alaska and Canada to encounters with the Spanish and war with the United States; concludes with an account of contemporary Navajo life.

Traditional Navajo, or Diné, stories tell that First Man, First Woman, the Holy People, and all the animals had to pass through three different worlds before emerging into the Fourth or Glittering World. Here, the People saw four rivers bounded by f...

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Title: Navajo Weaving: A Study in Cultural Change and Adaptability

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The development of Navajo weaving for individual use and for trade.

Navajos say Spider Woman taught them to weave with directions from Spider Man. Spider Woman’s woven cross still appears in Navajo weaving today. The early Navajos were a nomadic hunting and gathering people. Navajo weaving tells a story of their...

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Title: Trading in the Americas

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief overview of trading in the Americas.

For hundreds of years, indigenous people of the American Southwest, whether on the move or in permanent settlements, traded among themselves. Archeologists have found shells from the Pacific Ocean, parrot feathers from Mexico, and turquoise from dist...

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Title: Trading Posts in the American Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An overall description of trading posts in the American Southwest.

For hundreds of years, people of the American Southwest traded among themselves. They used a system of barter to exchange everything from furs, bison hides, foods, woven material, and clothing to pottery, beads, feathers, and turquoise. The establish...

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Title: The Indian Traders

Author(s): Frank McNitt (Author)

A description of typical goods for sale or barter at trading posts; the preface describes one trading post and merchant in Cabezon in the Rio Puerco area.

...flour, lard, sugar, green coffee in hundred pound sacks (customers roasting the beans in ovens at home and then grinding them), and canned goods. On their shelves were bolts of calico, fine muslins, Spanish lace, cards of fancy buttons, and spools...

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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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