In between dialogues and cultural history events we are busy reading, sharing books, and on the outlook for books we don’t already know about. So here we share a third set of books we’ve read, are reading, are currently on our nightstands, or on our list to read. (See our two earlier posts of books we've shared.)
THE HISPANO HOMELAND
by Richard L. Nostrand
Richard L. Nostrand interprets the Hispanos’ experience in geographical terms. He demonstrates that their unique intermixture with Pueblo Indians, nomad Indians, Anglos, and Mexican Americans, combined with isolation in their particular natural and cultural environments, have given them a unique sense of place - a sense of homeland.
Several processes shaped and reshaped the Hispano Homeland. Initial colonization left the Hispanos relatively isolated from cultural changes in the rest of New Spain, and gradual intermarriage with Pueblo and nomad Indians gave them new cultural features. As their numbers increased in the eighteenth century, they began to expand their Stronghold outward from the original colonies.
BLOOD AND THUNDER: THE EPIC STORY OF KIT CARSON AND THE CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAN WEST
by Hampton Sides
In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.
At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.
CRUCIBLE OF PUEBLOS: THE EARLY PUEBLO PERIOD IN THE NORTHERN SOUTHWEST
Richard H. Wilshusen (editor)
Archaeologists are increasingly recognizing the early Pueblo period as a major social and demographic transition in Southwest history. InCrucible of Pueblos: The Early Pueblo Period in the Northern Southwest, Richard Wilshusen, Gregson Schachner and James Allison present the first comprehensive summary of population growth and migration, the materialization of early villages, cultural diversity, relations of social power, and the emergence of early great houses during the early Pueblo period. Six chapters address these developments in the major regions of the northern Southwest and four synthetic chapters then examine early Pueblo material culture to explore social identity, power, and gender from a variety of perspectives. Taken as a whole, this thoughtfully edited volume compares the rise of villages during the early Pueblo period to similar processes in other parts of the Southwest and examines how the study of the early Pueblo period contributes to an anthropological understanding of Southwest history and early farming societies throughout the world.
EL DELIRIO: THE SANTA FE WORLD OF ELIZABETH WHITE
by Gregor Stark et. al.
Amelia Elizabeth White (1878-1972) was born into an East Coast world of wealth and privilege. After serving as army nurses in Europe during World War I, she and her sister Martha chose to settle in the small town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There Elizabeth became a passionate advocate for Pueblo Indian rights, an inspired patron and promoter of Indian art, and a dedicated community activist for the preservation of Santa Fe's history. White organized several traveling expositions of Indian art and was instrumental in founding the Indian Arts Fund, the Laboratory of Anthropology, the Old Santa Fe Association, and the Santa Fe Indian Market. She also was a member of a wide circle of artists, writers, musicians, anthropologists, and archaeologists, whom she entertained lavishly at El Delirio ("The Madness"), the beautiful estate built by the White sisters in the 1920s. An eclectic combination of Moorish, Mexican, and Pueblo design, El Delirio was the setting for chamber music concerts, costume parties, and theatrical entertainments. Today it is the home of the School of American Research and the SAR Press.
Richly illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, El Delirio offers an appealing glimpse into a fascinating period of Santa Fe history. It is also a loving portrait of the remarkable, energetic, and strong-willed Elizabeth White, described by a friend as "one of the great women of the Southwest in a very small body."
QUERENCIA: REFLECTIONS ON THE NEW MEXICO HOMELAND
Vanessa Fonseca-Chavez (editor)
New Mexico cultural envoy Juan Estevan Arellano, to whom this work is dedicated, writes that querencia "is that which gives us a sense of place, that which anchors us to the land, that which makes us a unique people, for it implies a deeply rooted knowledge of place, and for that reason we respect it as our home."
This sentiment is echoed in the foreword by Rudolfo Anaya, in which he writes that "querencia is love of home, love of place." This collection of both deeply personal reflections and carefully researched studies explores the New Mexico homeland through the experiences and perspectives of Chicanx and indigenous/Genízaro writers and scholars from across the state. The importance of querencia for each contributor is apparent in their work and their ongoing studies, which have roots in the culture, history, literature, and popular media of New Mexico. Be inspired and enlightened by these essays and discover the history and belonging that is querencia.
What's on your reading list?