For all peoples on all continents and for all times, water has
been the blood of life. It is fitting then, that this book about
the peoples of the Southwest be dedicated to an examination of
water in a land that has historically been dry, making the need to
locate water supplies essential. The Southwest became an important
frontier for Spanish and then Anglo explorers and colonizers who
battled with native occupants for strategic locations. Each one of
these groups who made the Southwest their home were ethnically
quite different. They represented diverse histories, cultures,
nationalities, classes, religions and world views.
Beginning with discussion of innovative prehistoric land and
water use, the book describes the ways in which early farmers
learned how to harness the precious drops of water for their
fields. The story then continues with views from the Pueblos and
beyond as the living sacredness of earth's resource is described by
native peoples. This emic view, however, is often in conflict with
the various legal definitions of resources carved by federal, state
and local officials and developers. The book goes on to examine the
background of contemporary land conflicts and water litigation
between numerous contestants: Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo. The book
ends with articles that attest to the clever ways in which
ethnicity is configured and boldly proclaimed in order to reclaim
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