Summary and Info
The last vestiges of a cultural past in Northern New Mexico Las Vegas, New Mexico, "a land of castles and conquerors, ideas and icons," is a symbol of the Western frontier, and for good reason. Even in the first half of the twentieth century, life there and its environs posed daily and often daunting struggles for survival, as these twenty viejitos attest. Their oral histories, both sad and joyful, comprise a medley of compelling subjects, ranging from life in the countryside, folk healing, religion, politics, and folklore to witchcraft and superstitions. Recounted here in their original Spanish and in English translation, these reflections on a distant past are uncomplicated and straightforward, lucid and honest; their aged tellers are freed of preconditioning or pretense. Told so quietly they fairly whisper, these stories resonate with simple wisdom and with the richness of a language, culture, and traditions that span several centuries in New Mexico. Folklorists, historians, cultural and social anthropologists, and students and teachers of Spanish throughout the Southwest will find much that engages and instructs in the accounts that Nasario Garc?a has so lovingly gathered and carefully assembled here.
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