People of Darkness (1980)

People of Darkness (1980)


A European word and concept used to describe a member, often male, although the term is often considered gender neutral, of the same genetic or relational group.

The Navajo kinship system, similar to other indigenous cultural groups, is based on clans. Because Navajo culture is matrilineal, children belong to their mother's clan, while they are born for their father's clan. For the Navajo, the idea of kinship and the extended network of clansmen is broadened by taken into consideration their maternal and paternal grandfathers' clans.


A sling for a firearm, usually made of leather or canvas, worn either around the shoulders with the gun resting just under the armpit area, or around the waist.


An arid environment characterized by limited rainfall, sparse vegetation, and animals that are specially adapted for extreme temperature changes. In the U.S. Southwest there are three deserts: the Chihuahuan desert in Texas and New Mexico, the Sonoran desert in Arizona and California, and the Mojave in California and Nevada. These deserts can be very hot during the day and become near freezing at night. This means that the plants and animals that live within these ecosystems must be specially adapted to find water and as well as thrive the diurnal temperature changes. Plants such as cacti and desert scrub brush have adapted by developing strategies for preserving water, such as growing massive networks of roots or having tiny leaves that lose less water through transpiration than larger leaves. Animals that inhabit these desert regions include birds, rabbits, coyotes, rats, mice, lizards, and snakes. These animals are mainly active at dawn, dusk, or during the night. Larger animals are less common, as they have problems adapting in an environment with such little water. Through time the Southwest is progressively becoming more arid, which has contributed to a change in the distributions of flora and fauna. Additionally, overgrazing of grasslands and the lowering of the water table has caused more erosion and the incisement of arroyos and washes.

High desert refers to deserts formed and existing at higher elevations, usually resulting in different vegetation and plant life as well as more precipitation in the more mountainous areas.


Sedimentary rock consisting of sand or quartz grains consolidated and compacted together, typically reddish in color, although yellow and brown versions are also common. Rock formations composed of sandstone are relatively porous, allowing for percolation of water and dynamic erosion by both water and wind.

Sandstone often forms dramatically colored and shaped cliffs and other geologic formations, such as the iconic stone monoliths in Monument Valley, Utah. The rock outcropping of El Morro, on the Zuni Reservation, is composed of yellowish-gray white sandstone known as Zuni Sandstone.

First Cavalry

A highly decorated military unit that was developed by the War Department of the United States of America in 1921 after the end of World War I. The 1st Cavalry Division served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It is composed of several divisions including artillery battalions, cavalry brigades, and an ambulance company. Originally, there was a mounted unit component to the cavalry, but this was disbanded in 1943. Now there is only a Horse Platoon, established in 1972, which is used for special occasions. In 1950, the 1st Cavalry was deployed to the Pusan Perimeter and was involved in amphibious landings during the war in the Korean Peninsula.


A hard mass, or stone, that amasses in the gallbladder. Consisting of a concretion of cholesterol, gallstone can cause immense pain to the patient.


The badger is known for its strength, perseverance, and ferocity. A burrowing animal with large claws for digging and the ability to navigate underground, the badger is often associated with profound knowledge, insight, and the wisdom that emerges from deep introspection. It is also affiliated with the cardinal direction south. Because of its association with strength and mystical insight, for a human to be affiliated with the badger is a sign of prestige, power, and protection.

Acoma people and culture

Acoma has been translated into English as both the "people of the white rock" as well as "a place always prepared." The Acoma are descended from Anasazi and earlier Mogollon cultures, and their pueblo has been continuously inhabited since the thirteenth-century. The primary community of the pueblo, Haaku, has existed on top of a sandstone monolith since at least 1200 CE, and is surrounded by a valley which the Acoma have farmed successfully for almost 1,000 years. Because of the pueblo's prime location, the Acoma were subject to periodic raids from neighboring Utes and Navajos and have also been subjected to Spanish, Catholic, and Anglo-European influences since the 16th century. Today, the Acoma are actively involved in the preservation of their culture in an approach that includes the Acoma Language Retention Project, as well as the conception that they are on an ongoing journey that demands engagement with the changing world around them.


A flying projectile shot using a bow, a curved piece of wood held in tension by string, gut, or plastic tied between the two ends. Traditionally, an arrow consists of a straight shaft, made of wood, with a stone “arrow head” projectile point attached on the front. Additionally, the back of the shaft is hafted (indented) and covered with feathers to facilitate the flight and direction of the arrow once it is shot. The bow and arrow are primarily used for hunting and the use of this weapon in the Four Corner’s region began during the end of the Basketmaker time period (A.D. 300-800).

Because of the important advantages that the arrow gave to those peoples who mastered their manufacture and use, the arrow also gained symbolic value. Worked onto the surfaces of ceramics and into textiles and sandpaintings, arrows can represent strength, virility, defense, protection, and courage.


This term refers to female members of the family Canidae, including wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes and domesticated dogs. This term first appeared in the 11th century; the Middle English form is bicche. The meaning of this word has been appropriated as an abusive term referring to difficult or spiteful women.


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