On a stormy summer Saturday in July, I was privileged to bear witness the first ever Costilla/Amalia Community Reunion. This event, years in the making, brought together the extended community of Costilla, NM and Amalia, NM, neighboring villages in the northernmost reaches of the New Mexico mountains, for a celebration of their shared history. The reunion was to my eyes a resounding success. Attendance was in the thousands and it was remarkable to see the strength of family and friendship…
In the Facebook groups where manitas and manitos meet, digital communities centered around identification with the manitas and manitos homeland of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, group members have become quite adept at using the power of online crowdsourcing to create meaningful accretions of collective knowledge and memory.
Whether tucked away in a shoe box, lovingly placed into a photo album or nestled comfortably into the same frames for a century or more, the photos that link to us to the stories of our heritage are fragile artifacts that require careful attention, even as we steward them into the digital age.
There is something deeply intimate about yearbooks. Filled with professions of eternal love and friendship, inside jokes and the youthful signatures of our classmates, each copy is an intense snapshot of a very particular time and and a very particular place. But, what each year’s edition has in common, beneath the personalized messages from ones friends and classmates, is a record of community.
This is the first in a series of posts highlighting regional archives, the role they play in conserving our heritage and tips on how to navigate them.
Many of us have antique photos, visual links to our elders and ancestors, handed down to us – treasured and often mysterious. This is the first of a series of posts on caring for and sharing our visual heritage.
Food writing and foodie culture, at its best, enthusiastically celebrates traditional food cultures, like ours here in Northern New Mexico. However, the quest for recipes often results in a concentration on a few iconic dishes that are repeated and often modified to suit popular tastes, as they travel far from their origins. While this aspect of foodie culture is an admirable thing in its own right, after all, who doesn’t like finding a delicious new variation on an old favorite? What can often be lost, is the thread of intimate heritage knowledge that ties us all to our culture.