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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: Acoma Pottery Design Motifs

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The development of bread bowls and an explanation of common design motifs.

Bread Bowls When the Spaniards introduced wheat and various fruits and vegetables to the Southwest, the Acomas and Lagunas began to need new sizes and shapes of vessels for food preparation and storage. One of these was the large dough bowl, up to 1...

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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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24doc image icon

Title: Who Were the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apaches?

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the Lipan and Kiowa-Apache peoples.

Two small Apache tribes, the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apache, lived on the western Great Plains during the early 1600s. Today they have become part of the other Apache tribes. Very few of those living today remember the Lipan and the Kiowa-Apache tribal ...

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25doc image icon

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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26doc image icon

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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27doc image icon

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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28doc image icon

Title: The Churro

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The introduction of churro sheep by the Spanish and their resulting importance to Navajo culture.

During the sixteenth century, the Spanish brought flocks of churro sheep to the Americas. The churro was an old and hardy breed originating in Spain. It could survive in rugged, dry terrain. Early Spanish, Pueblo, and Navajo weavers prized the long, ...

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29doc image icon

Title: Laguna

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

People from neighboring Acoma and other pueblos established Laguna Pueblo in the last years of the 1600s. In 1699, Governor Cubero of Nuevo México formally named the pueblo San José de la Laguna (“Saint Joseph of the Lake”). The name refers to ...

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30doc image icon

Title: The Old Spanish Trail

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief history of the Old Spanish Trail that traders traveled on between California and New Mexico.

Less well known today than the Old Santa Fe Trail, the Old Spanish Trail was a dynamic feature of the early days in the Spanish American Southwest. Long before the explorers and missionaries from Spain worked their way up from Old Mexico into Alta Ca...

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