Spotlights

Southwest Crossroads Spotlights have been created by the authors of Southwest Crossroads as general introductions on key topics in Southwest history. After reading each Spotlight, follow the associated links to get in-depth, specific information. Or keep reading Spotlights for more fascinating introductions to topics like Southwest arts, migration, or warfare—which together provide an overall view of the people and events that have shaped Southwest history.

Spotlights: 44  
11doc image icon

Title: Hopi

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to and overview of the Hopi material in Southwest Crossroads.

The villages of Hopi are the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in North America. Oraibi, the oldest village, dates back to about 1125 A.D. Present-day Hopis live in thirteen villages on and around three mesas in northern Arizona. For hundr...

Show Keywords:

12doc image icon

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 ...

Show Keywords:

13doc image icon

Title: Hopi Storytelling

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A brief description of Hopi storytelling practices.

In Hopi, a good storyteller is described as a tuwut’smoki. This word means something like “story bag”—someone who collects and remembers stories from a long and rich oral tradition. Hopi storytellers often begin their stories by saying ...

Show Keywords:

14doc image icon

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...

Show Keywords:

15doc image icon

Title: Katsinam

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

The meaning and origin of katsina rituals.

Katsinam are Hopi spirit messengers who send prayers for rain, bountiful harvests, and a prosperous, healthy life for humankind. They are our friends and visitors who bring gifts and food, as well as messages to teach appropriate behavior and the con...

Show Keywords:

16doc 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 ...

Show Keywords:

17doc image icon

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 ...

Show Keywords:

18doc 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...

Show Keywords:

19doc image icon

Title: Navajo Code Talkers

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

During World War II, many Navajos serving in the Marine Corps worked as “code talkers,” using a code in the Navajo language that the Japanese forces could not break for relaying information between US troops.

Although the United States government finally granted citizenship to Native Americans in 1924, the states of New Mexico and Arizona denied native people the right to vote until 1948. Nevertheless, during World War I (1917-1919) many Native Americans,...

Show Keywords:

20doc 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...

Show Keywords:

Spotlights: 44 Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next