People of Darkness (1980)

People of Darkness (1980)


The horse was introduced to the Americas in the 1500s by the Spaniards. While the Spaniards prized the horse for the role it played in travel, exploration, and war, they at times left herds of horses in various locales, hoping that the animal would find ways to establish itself on the continents the Spanish were busily conquering. The horse proved very adaptable and found habitats to thrive in, especially in the Great Basin and Plains of North America. Native Americans, particularly along Spain's northern colonial frontier, emulated the Spaniards' use of the horse for transportation, hunting, labor, and sport, and soon out-mastered the Spanish horsemen in riding, training, and cultivating the beasts the Spanish so prized. The horse took on great significance to many indigenous communities, and in some cases was incorporated into origin stories as a gift from the gods. The horse also occupies a central role in many mythologized frontier narratives about the Western and Southwestern regions of the United States.

Hopi people and culture

The Hopi are a Native American tribal people, who comprise a sovereign nation located in northeastern Arizona. They are also known as one of the Pueblo peoples, as named by the Spanish colonizers in the 1500s because of their clusters of modular dwellings, which reminded the Spanish adventurers of their own small towns, or pueblos, back on the Iberian peninsula. Hopi is a shortened version of Hopituh, meaning "Peaceful ones," and in earlier periods were also called the Moqui, most likely named as such by another tribe. As a Puebloan group, the Hopi are considered traditional agriculturalists and farm a mixture of maize, squash, beans, chili peppers, and onions. Hopi life is situated around ceremonials, of which each village has its own variations, that consist of the veneration of some 300 kachinas.

Many Hopi people live on the Hopi reservation, which is encompassed by the Navajo Reservation. The Hopi reservation consists of twelve villages located on three mesas: First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa, all of which are located upon the even larger Black Mesa. The Hopi consider this land sacred and part of their tribal history and origin.

Holy People

In many tradtional cultures, the Holy People are immortal beings who can take the form of ancestor spirits, universal guides, landscape elements, animals, plants, and celestial bodies. When things become imbalanced and sickness or discord manifests, the Holy People can be summoned through ceremonies with rituals and prayers. If the ceremony is performed in the correct way and the Holy People are pleased, then they, through the concept of reciprocity, feel obliged to right the wrong that is disrupting the harmony the Navajo seek in their daily lives, restoring order, health, and hózhó.

Arizona Highway Patrol

The police division of the state of Arizona that is responsible for enforcing laws and regulations concerning driving, transportation, and road safety.

Hero Twins

The Hero Twins, Born of Water and Monster Slayer, are the twin sons of Changing Woman and were born to rid the earth of the monsters who were killing the Diné, or the Navajo people. Monster Slayer is the elder twin, known as Nayénzgan in Diné, and Born of Water is the younger twin, known as Tobadzîschíni in Diné.

They begin by visiting their father the Sun and, after passing through many trials, are given weapons. The younger twin, Born of Water, is given prayer sticks and told to watch them as the older twin Monster Slayer goes out to fight the monsters. If the prayer sticks begin to burn, he will know that Monster Slayer is in danger and needs help. Monster Slayer goes alone to kill some of the monsters and Born of Water accompanies him while killing others.

Sometimes Monster Slayer is referred to as The Hero Twin (singular), probably because he does most of the fighting. However, because of their perseverance, both twins become warriors and so serve as a model for young Navajo men today.


The essential but non-physical aspect of a living being, that which leaves the body after death. Depending on the context, "soul" can refer to the spirit, personality, consciousness, mind, or entirety of the being ("another poor soul," as Leaphorn refers to Horseman in Tony Hillerman's 1970 Navajo detective novel THE BLESSINGWAY).

Jicarilla Apache

One of seven Native American tribes that share the Apachean, or Southern Athabascan, language. The Jicarilla Apache originated in Canada's Mackenzie Basin. Archaeological and ethnological evidence suggest that by the year 1400 the original Apache group had migrated south and began to separate into a few different tribes. By the time the Spanish arrived in the Americas, the Jicarilla people were settled in a large territory stretching over the Chama Valley of present-day New Mexico and eastward into Oklahoma. The Jicarilla Apache, through centuries of struggles over land against Spanish and then U.S. forces, have lost most of their territory. Today their reservation, which lies close to the eastern part of the Navajo Nation Reservation, occupies a small portion of northcentral New Mexico. In ongoing efforts to address the problems associated with loss of land, resources, and cultural heritage, such as poverty and crime, the Jicarilla Reservation government invests in retail and tourist enterprises, emphasizing active conservation of traditional arts, beliefs, and rituals.


Frost forms when objects at the earth's surface are colder than the air around them. Not only are the objects cold, they are cold enough to freeze the water vapor in the air that condenses, and then freezes, onto these surfaces. Sometimes this looks like a dusting of snow.

A hard frost refers to a frost that occurs when the surface temperature of the earth remains below freezing for several hours. In this case, the water vapor in the atmosphere freezes into larger crystals than the dusting, rime, or layer of frost that forms at slightly warmer temperatures.


A term referring to a speech sound that is generated in the throat. English has very few such throat-originated articulations, while other languages, like Arabic,Welsh, and many Native American languages (including Navajo), are rich in gutturals.

gravestone (tombstone)

A slab of stone, traditionally marble or granite, that marks a person's burial place. The stone is usually engraved with the dead person's name and dates of birth and death.


Subscribe to RSS - People of Darkness (1980)