The Blessing Way (1970)

The Blessing Way (1970)


An adverb derived from allegory, which is a narrative device, where plot elements, characters, and events, are symbolic of human experiences and the nature of human existence over time. If one speaks allegorically, one may be referring to the situation at hand by referring to a broader theme, whose components transcend the every day and find truth and applicability in multiple situations. J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an allegory of modernity and the battling forces of greed for power (and resources) on the one hand and provincial tradition and communal sustainability on the other. The young adult series The Hunger Games is an allegory of the relationship between media, popular culture, and politics in the post-modern era.

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a public research university located in Berkeley, California and it is the flagship school for the University of California system. The university is situated on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay, and, while Berkeley is not an Ivy League school, it is a very prestigious public university with an emphasis on research.

UC Berkeley also has an intimate relationship with nuclear development and culture in the Southwest. J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as one of the "fathers of the atomic bomb," was a physics professor at Berkely before commencing work on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which culminated in the testing of the first nuclear bomb at the Trinity Test site near White Sands, New Mexico. Currently, UC Berkeley administers Los Alamos Nationaol Laboratory in northern New Mexico, one of the premier nuclear research and development sites in the world.

Florence Hawley Ellis

Florence Hawley Ellis was a Southwestern archaeologist, who was not only a pioneer of dendrochronology, a method of dating using tree rings, but also accomplished the first chemical analysis of black pigments used on Southwestern ceramics. She received her degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago during the Great Depression, a time when it was very difficult for anyone to be funded through school, especially a woman. She then was then recommended by Clyde Kluckhohn for a position at UNM as a professor of archaeology. She taught at UNM from 1934 until her retirement in 1971. She was also very interested in Pueblo prehistory and was involved in working with Pueblo communities who were in the midst of land disputes.


A child born out of wedlock (marriage), who is therefore considered "illegitimate." Often used as a vernacular insult, suggesting that an individual is somehow less than fully deserving of the rights and protections associated with membership in a community, regardless of the marital status of his or her biological parents.


Fornication is the sexual act between two people who are not married to one another.


Anthropology is the study of human cultures past and present and includes the four sub-fields of physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics.

gall medicine

Gall medicine is made of the gall bladders of eagles, mountain lions, bear, and skunk. Occasionally the gall bladders of sheep, wolf, badger, and deer are also used. Navajos carry this medicine with them, sometimes in small bags or pouches, for protection against witches, corpse poison, and strangers. It is most often carried on their person when they are in a crowd, for example during ceremonies, or when traveling outside their home territory.


A hole in the surface bedrock through which air passes. These blowholes can occur in sea caves where the pressure of the water blasts a hole through the roof of the cave, and on land where differences in air pressure force air out of an underground formation through a hole. These holes can have high velocity winds rushing through them.

Often, blowholes are sites of spiritual and cultural significance, because they seem to replicate the act of breathing. Especially for the dry blowholes on land, such as those found at Wupatki National Monument in Arizona or Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota,when close enough, one can feel air being sucked into the earth and escaping from it, making it seem as if the earth is exchanging breath with the creatures on its surface.


A person who makes, smuggles, and sells illegal objects. Historically the term referred to people who smuggled alcohol concealed in their boots.

Fruitland, New Mexico

Fruitland began as a Mormon community and Navajo Trading post located in San Juan County, New Mexico. This community was named in order to advertise its agricultural resources. The Navajo term for Fruitland is Bááh Díílid, which means “burning bread,” and Fruitland received this name after a group of Navajo witnessed Mormons burning a batch of bread.

Although the general area was eventually added to the Navajo Nation Reservation, Fruitland, the community, is on the north bank of the San Juan River and not on the actual reservation itsel, which runs on the south side of the river. This area was also the site for the precursor of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. The early stages of this long-term project, which began in 1973, allotted small portions of land to Navajos to irrigate and farm by using water harnessed from the San Juan River by the Navajo Dam and Navajo Lake, which are about 50 miles east of Fruitland.


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