People of Darkness (1980)

People of Darkness (1980)


Windmills are structures that use spinning vanes, sales, or blades in order to convert the force of wind into energy and/or power. Different versions of the windmill have been used for centuries. Before the widespread use of electricity, windmills were used to mill grain and pump water. More recently, windmills in the format of wind turbines have been used as a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly tool for generating electricity.

A specific water-pumping windmill on joint-use territory land between the Hopi and Navajo reservations becomes the subject of major conflict in Hillerman's novel The Dark Wind. This windmill is occasionally referred to by its very specific identifier: Windmill Number 6.

New York City, New York

The city was founded by Dutch colonists in 1624 and was first given the name New Amsterdam. In 1664, British colonists took over the region and renamed the city New York. Located in the northeastern U.S. state of New York, New York City is the largest American metropolis and is a leading global center of culture, education, technology, and commerce. The city is situated on a natural harbor, where the Hudson and East Rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean, and since its early days has functioned as a main port for both people and goods. It is the most densely populated and ethnically diverse city in the country, and is comprised of five distinct boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. With large concentrations of immigrants from all over the world, New York is known for its variety of stores, restaurants, and cultural centers. Its unique cosmopolitan character and urban landscape of long avenues, skyscrapers, busy streets, and condensed traffic have provided iconic images of the U.S. that have circulated around the world through literature, film, news, and other media. Nicknamed the "big apple" and "the city that never sleeps" New York is famous for its parks, museums, historical landmarks, architecture, night life, and shopping and entertainment centers. It is the most popular tourist destination in the country, attracting millions of both domestic and foreign visitors annually.

Continental Divide, North America

Generally speaking, a continental divide is a geographic formation usually located on a continent’s high mountain peaks. Continental divides separate water drainage in two different directions, either vertically or horizontally. On one side, water flows either north or south; on the other side, water flows east or west. Water travels to the nearest ocean or sea often via long rivers. In North America, the continental divide (also known as the Great Divide) is a chain summits of the Rocky Mountains that are aligned in a fairly continuous contour from north to south along the western parts of the continent. The ranges traverse British Columbia in Canada; and Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico in the U.S. The Rocky Mountains separate drainage so that on the eastern side water will flow mostly to the Mississippi and the Rio Grande Rivers, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, while on the west side water will move in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.


A country in East Africa that is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean just south of the equator. The territories that are now Tanzania were colonized first by Germany and then Britain. The country gained its current status as a sovereign nation in 1964, after the previously separate states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed a union. Although Dodoma is the official capital, Dar es Salaam is the largest city, as well as the center of the country’s commerce and transportation. The country's population of 44.9 million people is comprised of various religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Its economy is largely based in agriculture; with sugar, cotton, tobacco, tea, and coffee being some of the main exported cash crops. Tanzania is a land of many great lakes, including the second deepest one in the world, Lake Tanganyika. It is also home to the Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. It is known for its diverse wildlife, which includes large herds of zebras, giraffes, Cape buffalo, and other hoofed animals. Tanzania is also home to predators such as lions and leopards, water animals such as crocodiles and hippopotamuses, and numerous species of birds and reptiles.

Chaco Wash, New Mexico

A large stream that cuts through Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. The stream bed is dry most of the year, but is subject to flooding during the rainy seasons of spring and summer.

smoke hole

In the traditional construction of a hogan, the Diné dwelling house, a hole is cut in the roof in order to let smoke from the hearth fire below out of the room. The hole is usually placed off-center and aligned above the rock slab that serves as a hearth so that as the smoke rises it leaves the residence. In later, more modern hogans, flues that facilitated the removal of smoke directly from the rock-slab or adobe hearth have replaced the hole in the roof.

Bisti, New Mexico

An area within the Navajo Nation reservation in northwestern New Mexico, about 30 miles south of Farmington. The Navajo name Bisti (or Bistahi) refers to the eroded clay that characterizes this unique landscape, which is known for its hoodoos and other unusual weathered rock formations.

Borrego Pass, New Mexico

An unincorporated community of the Navajo Nation located in McKinley County, NM. The Spanish name Borrego, meaning "yearling lamb," corresponds with the Navajo name, Dibé Yázhí Habitiin, meaning "ascending lamb trail." This small town originally formed around a trading post that no longer operates there.

Coyote Canyon, New Mexico

A canyon located in McKinley County, New Mexico. Its Anglicized name is based on the Navajo one, Mą'ii Tééh Yítłizhí, meaning "Where Coyote Fell Into Deep Water," which is based on a story of the spiritual being Coyote falling into a river after taking a drink of water. Coyote Canyon is one of the many chapters of the Navajo Nation, whose government system consists of five agencies (Chinle, Crownpoint, Fort Defiance, Shiprock, and Tuba City), with several local chapters within each agency. Each chapter has an administrative meeting place known as the chapter house, where the community gathers to discuss a variety of issues concerning life on the reservation.

Heart Butte, New Mexico

This term most likely refers to a sandstone natural rock structure near Crownpoint, New Mexico that is most often called "Heart Rock" on maps. For a span of approximately 15 years during the 1940s and 1950s, there was also a trading post near this formation, which was called the Heart Rock Trading Post.


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