Southwest Culture Area

Southwest Discovery Boxes 

Southwest Box (Grade 2 to adult)
The Southwest region is rich in tradition and craft, which continues today.
Examples of the rich tradition included in this box are a wedding vase, a storyteller, a basket, a Comanche doll, turquoise, and a Kachina doll. The information book accompanying the box has maps, time-lines, color photographs and historical background. The box focuses on the tribes of the area, culture, language, housing and food. Publications include Turquoise Boy adapted by Terri Cohlene, The Navajo, The Hopi in the Grolier series, Helen Cordero and the Storytellers of Cochiti Pueblo by Nancy S. Howard, Hopi Kachinas by Clara Lee Tanner, When The Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor and a Southwest Indians coloring book. The audio-visual materials in the box are: the audio tape “Navajo Songs” recorded in 1933 and 1940 by Laura Boulton, Navajo Land Arizona (slide set), Monument Valley Arizona (slide set), Indians of the Southwest (slide set), Navajo Land Arizona (slide set), Pueblo & Navajo Indians of North America (2 videos).

The Goat in the Rug (Grade K to 3)
Using the book, The Goat in the Rug by Charles L. Blood and Nancy W. Parker (included), this box explores the techniques of Navajo weaving. A loom, raw materials and tools for weaving are included in the box.

Kachinas of the Hopi Pueblo (Grade K to Adult)
This box gives examples of Kachinas and discusses these important religious figures. The process of making Kachinas, their history and significance are discussed and pictured in the information book. Raw materials and Kachina dolls are included.

Navajo Spinning and Weaving (Grade K to Adult)
The Navajo people are world famous for their weaving abilities. This box gives examples of the process of preparing the wool and the technique that turns it into a textile. A loom, drop spindle, and necessary tools and raw materials are included. Time-lines, color photographs and maps are included in the information book which accompanies the box.

Pottery Making (Grade K to Adult)
This box gives examples and explanations of traditional coil pottery making used by the Pueblo People of the Southwest for over 2,000 years. Time-lines and photographs of the various styles from each Pueblo are included in the information book along with maps and color photos of firing methods. Three pottery bowls are included in each box representing Santa Clara, Hopi, Jemez or Maricopa examples.

Sand Painting Box (Grade 2 to Adult)
This box focuses upon the healing tradition of the sand painting ritual as well as the contemporary art form. The information notebook contains maps, history, and activities. Four sand paintings, a mono and matate (ancient stone mortar and pestle) and raw materialsaccompany each box.

Storyteller Figures (Grade K to Adult)
Storytelling is as old as mankind and Native Americans place great importance on the passing down of history and values to younger generations through storytelling. In 1964, a potter from the Cochiti Pueblo created the first storyteller figure. From that time on, storyteller figures have enjoyed great popularity. A storyteller figure and stories are included in this box. The publication, Helen Cordero and the Storytellers of Cochiti Pueblo by Nancy S. Howard accompanies the box.

Baby Rattlesnake (Preschool- 2nd grade) This box for younger children contains the book Baby Rattlesnake by Te Ata and a rattlesnake puppet and actual rattles from a rattlesnake.

Southwest Audio/Visual Resources

The Ancient Ones: The Story of the Anasazi (Grade 3 to Adult) 30-minute video
This is the story of the ancient people who thrived in the Southwest for thousands of years before disappearing about 800 years ago. The film presents reenactment of these people showing what daily life might have been like. (Not dated)

Artists of New Mexico (Grade 6 to Adult) 46-minute video
This film includes features on Navajo painter R.C. Gorman, Apache sculptor Allan Houser, Acoma potter Jacqueline Shutiva and Jemez potter Marie Romero among other artists of the area. (1990)

Baskets (Grade 5 to Adult) 31-minute video
Basket weaving is the oldest of all craft arts. Southwestern Indians have been doing basketry for over 8000 years. This tape visits nine different weavers and shows in detail the making of the traditional coil baskets. Filmed entirely on the Pima, Papago and Hopi reservations.

"Canyon De Chelly, Through Navajo Eyes" 27-minute DVD (2002)

Daughters of the Anasazi (Grade 6 to Adult) 28-minute video
This film focuses upon Acoma Pueblo potter Lucy Lewis and her daughters Emma and Delores as they continue to make the traditional pottery of the Southwest. The entire process of pottery making is illustrated. (1990)

Edge of America 106-minute DVD (2005)

The Hopi (Grade 3 to Adult) 30-minute video
The Hopi people of the desert Southwest have an elaborate way of life and religion. This film gives an overview of their culture and life ways. Educational material and activities are included. (1982)

Hopi: Songs of the Fourth World 57-minute DVD (1983)

The Kachinas (Grade 4 to Adult) 32 slides
These slides illustrate the variety and significance of Kachinas for the Hopi People. Some of the Kachina rituals and dances are discussed as are their importance in the Pueblo culture of the Southwest. The slides are of Kachinas in the Schingoethe Center collection. (1992)

Kachina Dolls (Grade 3 to 12) 33-minute video
Kachina dolls are not mere playthings or simple souvenirs. They each have a special meaning. In this film, Hopi carvers show and explain their work.

Kachinas: The Stories They Tell (Grade 4 to Adult) 32 minute video
This film provides an overview of Kachinas, their significance and their creation. (no date)

The Legacy of Generations: Pottery by American Indian Women (Grade 9 to Adult) 30-minute video
The Southwest Indian women who create these sacred vessels preserve a centuries-old tradition while paving the way for contemporary artists. This film showcases the art of master potters and their daughters and granddaughters who reveal how their craft is passed down through matrilineal lines. Viewers also meet poet and avant-garde potter Nora Naranjo-Morse and explore how Native American artists balance their heritage with their modern identities. This excellent film is produced by WETA public television. (1998)

The Legend of the Boy and the Eagle (Grades 4- 8) 21-minute video
This is the story of a young Hopi boy who is entrusted with the care of the sacred eagle of the tribe. Because of his love for the eagle, he sets it free, which is against tribal law. He is cast out of the village. In his struggle for survival, he is befriended by the eagle, which teaches the boy to hunt. The boy eventually turns into an eagle and soars away into the sky. This is a Disney educational film. (not dated)

Maria: Potter of San Ildefonso Pueblo (Grade 2 to Adult) 27-minute video
Maria Martinez is one of the most famous Pueblo potters in the Southwest. This film discusses her development, the role her family played and the famous black-on-black pottery for which she has become famous. It explains all steps from collecting the clay to the firing process. (Not dated)

The Natives of the Southwest: Artists, Innovators and Rebels (Grade 4 to Adult) 50-minute video
A Turner Broadcasting film focusing on the pueblo and other Native American groups of the Southwest. (1994)

Navajo Sandpainting (Grades 1- 8) 33-minute video Where did sandpainting originate? How did commercial sandpainting develop? Who makes sandpaintings? All these questions, and more, are answered in this tape that was made entirely on the Navajo reservation. Watch Navajo sandpainters at work. Traditional sandpaintings each have special, religious meanings. (not dated)

Pueblo Storytellers (Grades 1- 8) 33 minutes
Learn the history of storytellers, how they developed and who makes them. Watch storytellers being made by Pueblo ladies. Learn what “traditional” pottery means and what the difference is between traditional and commercial storytellers.

Seasons of a Navajo 60-minute video (1988)

Southwest Indian Pottery (Grades 1- 8) 48-minute video
This tape visits potters of four of the better-known Pueblos, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesque and Zia. Learn to identify pottery from different tribes and how to tell genuine, traditional pottery from molded or ceramic pottery. This tape is very basic but does an excellent job of showing step by step pottery making for instructional purposes. (not dated)

Turkey Girl: A Santa Clara Pueblo Myth (Grade 3 to Adult), Activity Book
This activity book includes two versions of the Turkey Girl myth as well as illustrations painted by the artist Pablita Velarde. Student activities related to the subject are also included.