Play Video about Image from the Library of Congress. Titled, Spanish-American sugar beet worker. Adams County, Colorado taken by Rothstein Arthur 1915 through 1985


Panelists include Levi Romero, Dr. Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, Dr. Patricia Perea, Dr. Trisha Martinez, Jesús Villa; moderated by Dr. Michelle Lanteri.

IMAGE CAPTION: Spanish-American sugar beet worker, Adams County, Colorado, 1939. Photograph by Arthur Rothstein. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives. LC-USF34-028740-D.

Following the Manito Trail presented as a cultural heritage exhibition that sharing the migration experiences, creative practices, and largely untold stories of Manito (Hispanic New Mexican) families from Taos County and its surrounding area. These families carried their culture with them through their migrations to other states for seasonal and permanent work during the 19th and 20th centuries.”

“These migrations represent Manito family values in surviving, even if it meant leaving the homes they cherished. Their contributions significantly impacted the American West through their labor in sheepherding, coal mining, railroad construction, and the sugar beet fields. Wherever they went, they never forgot their roots in New Mexico, and they shaped their new homes in other states to preserve and adapt their cultural traditions that they brought with them. For some families, the following generations stayed in their diaspora homes, and, for others, they returned to New Mexico. Through their descendants, Manito families carry on the legacy of shaping the northern New Mexico cultural landscape through professions in medicine, the humanities, the arts, linguistics, and agriculture. Through sounds and sights, this exhibition highlights Manito family histories; the significance of storytelling, farming, agricultural, poetic, religious, and culinary practices to Manito families; and the Hispanic art forms of santos and colchas. The exhibition’s Humanities Discussion Panel series offers audiences several opportunities to join the conversation through direct dialogue with the Following the Manito Trail scholars and the project’s cultural community network. This exhibition will travel to two more locations in northern New Mexico, one in Santa Fe County and one in Rio Arriba County.” (Millicent Rogers Museum.)

“The term “manitos” is one of endearment and kinship and derives from the Spanish word, hermano, “brother” or “sibling,” inclusive of both brother and sister, although early 20th century folklorists have pointed to its origin as one that was originally pejorative and given by Mexican immigrants to the IndoHispano populations of northern New Mexico in the early years of the 20th century. As a term of identity, it has been widely used by the people of the mountains, valleys, hills, and plains of the northernmost part of New Mexico and beyond, whose experiences and histories are firmly rooted in this region. To this day, when these villagers or their descendants living anywhere in the world encounter one another, the terms “mano” or “mana” paired with the first name is often used. Another meaning of the word “mano” is hand, and we think of that connotation as well. We use the term metaphorically to commemorate the hands (manos) of those generations who have passed before us, building community, cultivating and defending land, gathering the ground into adobes, adobes into homes, and homes into plazas. Building and experiencing community has also meant that these manos often folded conflict into the everyday, where the differences between cultures, between men and women, and even those manifested over honor, reveal that experience is complex and full of struggle. And yet, even through conflict, these chile-colored, alfalfa-scraped manos sustained family and community. They tilled the soil, raised children to their breast, cleared the acequias, shucked the corn, and sheared the sheep. These manos carved the santos, rolled their fingers over the beads of the rosary, and folded them together in prayer. These manos picked the yerbas and soothed the fevers. They turned capulin into wine and played barajas (card games like poker) between their fingers. These manos made the tortillas, quilted creativity, and made necessity into a way of life. From these manos, words flowed into poems, imagination into story, and story back into memory.” (Excerpt from the gallery guide published by the Millicent Rogers Museum.)

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Seeking to provide funding support to use storytelling as a catalyst to build bridges of understanding.