Historical Reference

Spanish priests

Spanish priests, a colloquial reference to the presence of the Catholic church in the Americas during their colonization by Spain, were responsible for the conversion of indigenous peoples to Catholicism in the Americas. A two-pronged philosophy of "humanizing" drove the Church's conversion impetus. If the indigenous were actually human beings, then they could, and should, be saved from their barbarous heathenism via the gift of Catholicism. But Spanish priests were also a major force of the colonizing mission of the Spanish conquest of the New World, and many were susceptible to the desire for material gain that drove much of Spanish colonial efforts of the 16th and 17th centuries. In this sense, a secondary strain of de-humanization occurred, because if the native populations were not able to be saved, then they could be exploited as slave labor. As such, although Catholicism and other expressions of Christian faith have been incorporated into many American indigenous traditions, the history of the Spanish Catholicism in indigenous communities is a fraught one.

Soon after the first conquistadors arrived in the Americas in the late 15th century, Spanish missionaries and priests were sent to settle in the new colonies, establish missions, and spread the Catholic faith, both as a source of potential enlightenment as well as a source of social control. Many of the indigenous populations were quite resistant to the new religion and customs of the European colonists, and conversion was often done by force, through enslavement, dispossession, and, frequently, physical violence.


Built on the banks of the Eurotas River, Sparta was an ancient city-state run by a stalwart military oligarchy that rose to dominance in 650 BCE. In order to develop the most formidable military force in the Mediterranean world, Spartan citizens forewent any education in the arts, instead sending their boys at age seven to begin the rigorous training in the Agoge system. Concentrating in weapons instruction and extreme athleticism, male students also were taught the philosophy of war and the logic of battle. Men were expected to marry and start producing a family the age of twenty and serve in the militia until the age of thirty, if they lived that long. It is from the intensity and intimacy of this male-only period of training and service that theories regarding homoerotic relationships between Spartan soldiers stem, acknowledging the bonds of friendship, love, and loyalty that develop over prolonged periods of intense engagement.

Although they did not receive military training, women were educated as well and enjoyed relatively more rights than women in other parts of the classical world. Regardless of gender, however, the Spartan existence consisted of deprivation, endurance, and profound dedication to its ideals. It is from this sense that today's use of "spartan" derives its meaning, in terms of lifestyles or choices that reject luxury in favor of austerity, frugality, stringency, and severity.

Today, Sparta is the capitol of Laconia, Greece and its main economy is in citrus and oils.

U.S. Geological Survey Quadrangle Maps

When the U.S. government surveyed the western states, they used markers to block out quadrangle shaped sections. A topographical map for each quadrangle was then created. The quadrangles are often imperfect in shape and size, but are usually about 7.5 minutes (a measure of latitude and longitude) in size and named after a local feature. Despite their imperfections, the maps still provide a geologic tool for mapping the vast space of the western U.S.

Frank Hamilton Cushing

This U.S. born ethnologist and anthropologist spent five years among the Zuni, from 1879-1884, when his advocacy for keeping the Nutria Valley within Zuni boundaries angered Illinois Senator John Logan and funding for his position was cut. He continued to work for the Bureau of American Ethnology, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, until his early death in 1900. Cushing developed a new anthropological research technique, that of the "participant observer." The anthropologist was fully embroiled in Zuni Society and was initiated into The Priesthood of the Bow warrior society, taking the name "Tenatsali" which means medicine flower. Cushing later conducted research on the Hopi and worked with the Cheyenne to record signed language.


A four-wheeled wooden vehicle that is pulled by draft animals such as oxen and horses. They generally have metal wheels and a suspension system to help navigate. These vehicles have been used for the last 2,000 years; however, with the advent of motorized vehicles they have fallen into disuse.

silver dollar

A dollar coin that was originally made of silver in Europe, and was first issued by the royalty of England and Scotland in the 16th century. The United States of America first minted silver dollars in 1794, and those coins announced the establishment of the dollar as the country's official denomination. Although the early, high-value silver coins were not commonly circulated, they did pave the way to the production of inexpensive circulating dollar coins. Today the silver dollar is a collector's item that is made of white metal rather than real silver and that features different designs according to notable events in U.S. history.


The plural form of anthropophagous, this is another term for cannibalism from the ancient Greek word anthrōpoϕágos, meaning “man-eater.” As this word is from a quote from Shakespeare’s tragedy OTHELLO, it is important to note that during the Renaissance, a period renowned for a resurgence in scientific exploration and empire building, when Shakespeare was writing, scholars were interested in the cultural practices of the peoples encountered during global exploration. These practices included cannibalism, among others.

Stan Newman

Stanley (Stan) Newman was a professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of New Mexico from 1949 until 1971. In 1960 he became a co-editor of the Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, now the journal of Anthropological Research.

W. W. Hill

A noted anthropologist who worked with Clyde Kluckhohn on an ethnographic study of the Navajo and subsequently assisted in writing the seminal text NAVAJO MATERIAL CULTURE (1971). He was a University Regents lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Hill also is the author of THE AGRICULTURAL AND HUNTING METHODS OF THE NAVAHO INDIANS (1938) and co-author of NAVAHO HUMOR (1943) with another famous anthropologist, Leslie Spier.

throwing stick

A throwing stick is a weapon for killing rabbits and other small mammals such as prairie dogs. It can be thrown long distances or used as a club to kill or stun prey and was used by men and women for hunting, both on foot and later on horseback.

The morphology of the throwing stick varies; the two most common types are a straight make-shift throwing stick made from dry oak or juniper branches. The second is a more carefully constructed curved stick with round grip and a stone-ground flattened body. There are other types beyond these two but they are less common.


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