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The MuralThe 360 Degree View

Indians in a field

For thousands of years before the Spanish explored our area, there were people living here, cultivating the land and growing crops. These figures represent some of those people, including the Manso and Tarahumara Indians.

The Manso Indians were first written about in 1598, when they were living along the Rio Grande. The Mansos lived in New Mexico, northwest of what is now El Paso. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Mission, which you can still visit in Juarez, Mexico, was established in 1659 for the Manso Indians.

The Tarahumara or Rarámuri, as they call themselves, still live in Copper Canyon, Mexico. The name Tarahumara was what the first Spanish explorers called these Native American people when they arrived in Chihuahua in the 1500's. Today, the Tarahumara are Mexico's second largest native Indian group. They still live in caves, under cliffs and in small wood and stone cabins in remote areas.

The pregnant woman in this picture symbolizes the birth of the Mestizo. In New Spain a mestizo was a person born in the New World with one Spanish-born and one Indian parent. Many Tejanos were descendants of mestizos.

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critical thinking
How do you think the Native American people felt about the Spaniards who were exploring the area? What might be different today if the Spaniards had not come to this area? Why?

Related Links:

Information about the Manso Indians

An essay about the Tarahumara Indians

Tourist Information about Copper Canyon, home of today’s Tarahumaras

Read More, Learn More:

Hogan, Linda. 1990. Mean Spirit. New York: Antheneum.

Snipp, C. Matthew. 1989. American Indians: The First of This Land. NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Spicer, Edward H. 1962. The Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the U.S. on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.