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Course & Subject Guides

Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian, Spring-Summer 2018: A Feast Day

This library guide is an overview of the Archives & Special Collection exhibit on Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian.

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The Oldest Settlement

The Keres village of Acoma is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United States. Perched on the top of a mesa some three hundred and fifty feet above the surrounding valley, accessible by difficult trails partly cut in the solid rock of its precipices, it is no less picturesquely placed than Walpi.  

Under the name Acus it was first mentioned by Friar Marcos de Niza, discoverer of the Zuñi towns.  He did not visit the place, but in the following year, 1540, Coronado sent one of his officers from Cibola to explore the country eastward…   

Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian, Text XVI, 169-170, 1926.

Curtis device

A Feast Day at Acoma

Photogravure of A Feast Day at Acoma

A Feast Day at Acoma, 1904

Franciscan missionaries early in the seventeenth century introduced certain public Christian rites among the Pueblos, which ever since have been performed, with an intermingling of native ceremonial practices, especially on the days of the saints of whose protection the villages were respectively assigned.  The day of San Estevan, patron saint of Acoma, is September second.

Print caption by Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian, Portfolio XVI, Plate no. 565, 1926.


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