Archive for Indigenous People

My Year of Native American Studies

Posted in My Narcissisms with tags , on December 27, 2016 by A lo Hawk

I have always been fascinated with native american culture. As a kid, I would choose to be an indian in the neighborhood cowboy/indian wars. At night I read books on sign language, tepees and totem poles. While a boy scout, I learned beading and basket weaving among other skills.

In 1989, my wife and I visited Mesa Verde National Park but it wasn’t until we moved to Durango that I became aware of the significant number of ancient sites in the four corners area. I resolved in 2016 to immerse myself in the history and heritage of the indigenous people of the southwest.

Besides visiting ancient ruins and heritage sites, I read several books, attended a summer lecture series at the Center for Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College, learned to throw the atlatl and even climbed 14,165 ft Kit Carson Peak in the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

To permanently commemorate this year of native american study, ALOHAWK got new ink inspired by Navajo sand painting.


Canyons of the Ancients, Sand Canyon Trail, CO (four hikes, one with Sue)

Natural Bridges Natl Monument, UT (solo scout trip, second trip with Sue)

Hovenweep Natl Monument, CO (solo scout, then with Sue)

Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores, CO with Sue

Mesa Verde Natl Park, CO (four visits: two solo, two with Sue)

Bandelier Natl Monument, NM with George Schools


Tsankawi Primitive Sites, NM with George Schools

Aztec Ruins Natl Monument, NM with Sue, Mom and Greg

Chimney Rock Natl Monument, CO with Sue (two visits, once to throw atlatl)


South Mule Canyon, UT solo

Butler Wash, UT solo


Southern Ute Heritage Center, Ignacio, CO with Sue

Petroglyph Natl Monument, Albuquerque, NM with Sue




“Blood and Thunder”, Hampton Sides (bestselling story of Kit Carson and the conquest of the West)

“Empire of the Summer Moon”, S.C. Gwynne

“Osceola and the Great Seminole War”, Thom Hatch

“In the Hands of the Great Spirit”, Jake Page (a general 2000 year history of American Indians)

“An Indigenous People’s History of the U.S.”, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (a brutal read)

“The Last of the Mohicans’, James Fenimore Cooper

“Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”, Illustrated Edition, Dee Brown (the definitive book on the subject)


The Guns that won the West

The Parker Family

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago

The Sand Creek Massacre


“A Man Called Horse”, 1970 starring Richard Harris as an English big game hunter who is captured by the Sioux in 1825 and eventually becomes a respected member of the tribe

“A Good Day to Die”, documentary of Dennis Banks, AIM leader and activist during the 1973 Wounded Knee Incident

“Dances With Wolves”, 1990 Best Picture/Director Kevin Costner

“Dances With Wolves: The Creation of an Epic”, documentary