The Director’s Journal

The Director’s Journal

The Manitos Community Memory Project was recently launched with this ‘Digital Resolana’ serving as a way to generate an interest in the community toward developing a community archive. The blog also serves to document the process and progress of the overall project. In this thread, my own goal as the director of the project will be to use this space to journal short reflections about the project sharing my thoughts about the project, words, ideas, people and places. August 2…

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Alabados – Voices of Spirit

Alabados – Voices of Spirit

Today, on this highest of holy days to Catholics, I recall the deeply resonant sounds of the ancient spiritual hymns known as alabados. Recognizing the value and importance of recording these spiritual praises and other musical and religious traditions, folklorist and linguist Dr. Juan B. Rael returned home in the summer of 1940 and recorded the voices of fifteen men and four women from villages in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, including these deeply spiritual hymns. Listening to the alabados in moradas,…

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The Hunt for Nicolás

The Hunt for Nicolás

New Mexicans with Colonial ancestry can be traced to the early settlers who traveled from the “old world”, as well as those of Native American and Mestizo roots. Origins of New Mexico Families by fray Angelico Chávez as well as In El Camino Real De Tierra Adentro – Five Waves of Settlersby J.A. Esquibel, C. Preston, and D. Preston outline these settlers and settlement timelines. Three of the five main waves of settlements during the Colonial period, the Juan de Oñate settlement…

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Women and Creativity

Women and Creativity

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge the contributions of women, including in shaping who I am as a man to this day. Indeed, When I think of the power of the human spirit, realized especially through the deepest love that one person can hold for another, I think of mamá, my grandmother, one of the two women who raised me up in beauty and vision. Yet, as we close this month, where we pause…

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Libraries as Centers of Inclusion

Libraries as Centers of Inclusion

Recent articles in NPQ, Nonprofit Quarterly, have profiled the ways in which urban libraries across the nation support both learning and the economy. In addition, they are expanding their roles not just as places to borrow books but also as community hubs that make a difference—with everything from makerspaces and gardens to seed exchanges and lending programs for musical instruments and tools. Libraries serve as sanctuaries, open to their communities during times of civic unrest, on the front lines of…

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The Moon Rises Over Hernandez Again and Again

The Moon Rises Over Hernandez Again and Again

One of the most famous and most sought after photographs in American fine-art photography is called “Moonrise, Hernandez, NM” shot by Ansel Adams in 1941. I first encountered this photograph as capital “A” art in my university art history course. I was taught to appreciate this photo from an objective perspective, to memorize all manners of facts about its medium and technique. It is silver gelatin print that stands the testament of time for many reasons, but particularly in terms…

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Crowdsourcing Togetherness

Crowdsourcing Togetherness

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.

Ancestor Photos: Caring For and Sharing. Part 1

Ancestor Photos: Caring For and Sharing. Part 1

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.

Los Argüellos – Connecting Migrations and Memories

Los Argüellos – Connecting Migrations and Memories

My interest about my family history began as a young child during our annual visits to my grandfather Jose Tiburcio Argüello and Antonia (Tonita) Cordova Argüello’s farm in Llano de San Juan Nepomuceno, now known as Llano, New Mexico. During our visits to my grand-parents farm my grandfather always reminded me of how our ancestors were the ones who settled all the villages in the surrounding area many years ago. In 1946 after my father Clarence Argüello completed his military…

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Rural Libraries and Cultural Equity

Rural Libraries and Cultural Equity

The Manitos Community Memory Project recognizes the important role of libraries in achieving cultural equity for rural communities in New Mexico. Often they are the only places in the community that provide Internet access and space for public gatherings. In addition to their traditional roles, they offer GED programs, after school programs, and programs to promote STEM learning and early childhood development. Libraries in Abiquiu, Dixon, and Questa are among our community-based partners for the Manitos Project. The concept of…

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