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Title: Zuni

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Introduction to Zuni

The Zuni, who call themselves A'shiwi, tell the story that long ago their gods cut off the peoples' tails, split the webs between their toes with stone knives, and led them from the underworld to seek their home in the center of the universe. When at...

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Title: Turquoise in the History of the Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise in the ancient Southwest

Throughout history, peoples around the world have revered turquoise for its beauty. Turquoise comes from the earth but is the color of the sky. Indians of the American Southwest associate the semi-precious stone with early tribal stories and prayer. ...

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Title: Early Accounts of Turquoise Use by Native Americans

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Spanish explorers on the use of turquoise among the Pueblos

“In this pueblo they were all bedecked with turquoises, which hung from their noses and ears and which they call cacona.…The three days being over, many people gathered to go with me. I selected thirty prominent men, all very well dressed, wearin...

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Title: Turquoise Mining in the Southwest

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise mining among the Pueblos, Spanish, and Americans

Archaeologists have also found turquoise mines throughout Mesoamerica. One of the largest mines is in a mountain south of Santa Fe called Cuwimi Kai or Chalchihuitel—“a house inside which turquoise is found.” The Zuni often obtained...

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Title: Keneshde Tells His Story

Source(s): The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths

Author(s): Keneshde (Author); John Adair (Author)

A Zuni silversmith tells how he got the first piece of turquoise when he was fifteen from a mine east of Santo Domingo.

When I was a boy about fifteen years old, I used to help Kwaisedemon, who was my grandfather, make silver. He was my father's father, and at that time he was an old man. It was hard work for him to pound out silver, so I used to do that for him. In r...

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Title: Turquoise Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Turquoise trade and Zuni jewelry.

The Zuni traded for turquoise stones for hundreds of years. They traded with the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Indians who had access to the turquoise mines. Later on the Spanish seized control of the mines. In the late 1800s Anglo mining interests took ...

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Title: Who Is Chakwaina?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Origins of the Chakwaina katsina.

In 1529, Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Baca and three companions survived a shipwreck at the mouth of what is now known as the Mississippi River. Esteban, a black Moorish slave, was among the survivors. For seven years, the four Spaniards w...

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Title: Lanyade

Source(s): The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths

Author(s): John Adair (Author)

The first Zuni silversmith was a man named Lanyade. He tells this story at the age of 95.

When I was a young man about thirty years old [1872], a Navajo came to Zuni who knew how to make silver. This man’s Navajo name was Atsidi Chon. I had traveled through the Navajo country a good many times, on my way to the Hopi villages, and I knew ...

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Title: The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza

Source(s): The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza

Author(s): Fray Marcos de Niza (Author); Cleve Hallenbeck (Editor)

What happens when Fray Marcos de Niza sends Estevan the Spanish Moor as advance scout in search of the golden Cities of Cibola in 1539.

On another route I sent Estevan de Dorantes, the black, whom I instructed to follow to the north for fifty or sixty leagues, to see if by that route he would be able to learn of any great thing such as we sought; and I agreed with him that if he rece...

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Title: Hopi Silver

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

How the Hopis came to be silversmiths.

Silversmithing in the American Southwest tells a story of creative encounters among peoples. The Navajos probably learned the art of silversmithing from Mexican artisans. Oral tradition recalls that a Navajo taught silversmithing to a Zuni man named ...

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