Membership & Participation
Possible Subjects for Archiving
Writing About Local Cultures
Writing About Family Photographs
Writing About Places
Writing About Objects & Artifacts
Writing About Historical Documents
Interviewing Community Members
How to Submit an Article to the Archive
Membership & Participation
You may become a member of the archive through your participation. By writing something of interest to you about your culture - Hispanic, Native American, or Anglo-American - and by sending it to one of our archive representatives listed below, you join us in furthering multicultural education, understanding, and pride.
Membership is not limited by where you live.
If you are interested in submiting an article, please e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us at one of the addresses listed below.
This archive is created largely by members of the community, so if you live here, you already will have a wealth of information to share. The area currently served by the archive is within the Peñasco Independent School District (see "Communities" for a listing of communities involved).
If you live in another area of Northern New Mexico, we welcome your involvement and will be glad to assist you in developing your area's archive.
If you are visiting from another part of the world, we are also interested in information you may have which compares or contrasts with our cultures, or you may have information relating to the history of our cultures as derived from your. For example, you may know something about adobe homes of the Middle East or of Africa; you may have recognized the striking similarities between native Mongolian and Native American dances; you may have recepies for cooking habas, or fava beans, which the Spanish brought with them when they settled here, or you may be interested in an ancestor who moved to New Mexico hundreds of years ago. In any event, please take time to think of how you might contribute to the archive. Below are some suggestions!
A history of your community
Foods grown locally, such as, habas, chilies, fruit, & corn.
The Horno: its history, how it is made, & how it is used.
Recepies of your favorite foods. (We are especially in need of recepies for habas.)
Stories told by your family.
Hunting & fishing.
Lowriders: how they are made, their history, & how they relate to pride in yourself and your culture.
Activites: Feast days, pilgrimmages, Los Pasados
Make a historical map of your community
Weddings, La Entrega
Native plants and their uses
Arifacts: old tools, wagons, furniture, bultos, retablos, toys.
Games people used to play: "Tejas", "Cows", others?
Interviews with local artists & crafts people.
Interviews with people who know alot about the history of the area
Animals of the area, habitats and ways of life
The Acequia: its history, management & value.
Adobe making & home construction
Your Church: its history, construction & community
Santos: bultos & retablos
Weaving, wool & sheep.
Pottery: gathering the earth, techniques.
Curanderismo & home remedies for illness
Music, musicians & local songs
Historically interesting photographs
When writing about culture, it is best to write about some subject we know well. Also, since the culture is the way of life of a group of people, it is good to be sensitive to how others will feel about what we write. Think about the viewpoints others in the culture may have on the subject. It can also be helpful to have a person who knows the culture well to read what we have written. This is especially true when we are writing about someone else. For example, if you have written an article about a local potter, read your article to the potter or ask him/her to read it and to make suggestions for how it can be improved.
In writing about your community, there are many approaches you can take. You can write about the physical community - the buidlings, the acequias, roads, and their history in general. You can write about the people who first began your community, their ancestors, and important events in the life of the community. And, you can write about traditions, and things that make your community different from others. One of the best ways to make a good project about your community is to collect photographs from family and friends that will make a photographic history, and then write a history following the pictures in some order.
When using family photographs, take care that they don't become lost or damaged. It is best to make copies of the photos you will actually be using in your report or photo essay.
Here are some things to think about when writing about a photograph:
Give a brief description of the photograph.
Tell about the time when the picture was taken.
- Who is in the photograph?
- What is the relationship of the people in the picture to you?
- What is their relationship to each other?
- Where was the photograph taken?
- When was the photograph taken?
- What is happening in the picture?
Telling a story with your photographs
- When was the picture taken? In what year? Around what event?
- Describe any objects in the picture, e.g.- cars, tools, ways of doing things, style of clothing, architecture of buildings in the background, and other things of interest in the photograph.
- Arrange your photographs in the order your story will follow.
You may arranage the pictures by time (from oldest to newest), around some theme, for example, make a stack of all of your photographs that show people building a horno, then order them so that you can write your story about how a horno is made. Or, you may arrange all of the pictures you have of one person and write a story of the person's life.
- You may want to write about a certain building like an old house, school, or church; or, you may want to make a historical map of your entire community.
Begin by locating all of the historical buildings and drawing them on your map. Then you will probably want to talk to anyone who remembers when the building was made, what it was used for, what it is used for now, and any stories that go along with the history of the buildings. There will also be buildings in ruin or which have disappeared; you may even want to do some archaeology at these sites, once you find out where they are!
Write a detailed, physical description of the object: size, color, shape, what materials it is made from.
Tell what the object is, or was, used for.
How was it made: describe the process by which the object was made. This may involve describing several stages in which different tools and materials were used.
When was it made? Does it have a date on it? Are their other ways you can guess at the date, such as, when its maker lived, tools and materials used and when they were commonly used?
Is there any writing on the object?
Is the object original, or has it been changed in some way? Has it been repaired? If so, how?
What are the historical or cultural forces that have influenced the making of this object?
*Note: When writing about valuable objects, it is best not to give the exact location of the piece.
What kind of document is it? Legal? Personal letter? WPA report?
Who wrote it?
Where was it written?
What historical events helped to shape the writing of the document?
What events did the document help shape?
Why is the document important
Contact the person you wish to interview, explain your reasons for requesting an interview, and set a time and place. Tell the person whether it will be recorded with audio or video.
Organize all equipment needed: recorder(s), extension cords, microphone, batteries, notepad, etc.
Make a list of interview questions to ask during the interview.
Allow time to set up for recording the interview. Test the sound, arrange things comfortably.
Record the time, place, and purpose of the interview and the name of the person you are interviewing. Frame the interview by telling the interviewee the specific purposes of the interview.
Begin asking questions. Before the interview, make a list of questions you might want to ask. In writing a list of questions, you might want to look at questions others have asked. One example is of family interview questions from Material World, the CD which interviews families from around the world. You may want to use these questions and then compare your responses with the responses of families in other cultures.
Direct the interview by making statements, such as, "Tell me more about (some specific point of interest in the interview)". Ask the person being interviewed to explain unclear points in more detail for you. Ask the interviewee to give examples.
Thank the interviewee and ask him/her to sign the release form allowing you to use the interview in archive presentations.
Write a three to five page essay on some aspect of local culture accompanied by a series of photographs with compliment the essay.
Geneological chart forms are available from your achive representatives. Complete this "family tree" with members of your family. Enter the completed information into the family tree database on a computer in the computer lab. Also, enter photographs and notes on any relatives.
Interview members of the community. Record with audio or video and make a transcription of the voice recording. Write a brief summary of the interview which gives the name of the person interviewed, the time, place, and a paragraph on what subjects the interview covers.
Follow guidelines provided by your teacher, or write a three to five page paper on a subject of cultural interest. If you have them, accompany the paper with photographs or drawings to make it more interesting.
Using multimedia presentation software (Powerpoint, Astound, Hyperstudio), make a presentation of your subject. If you have difficulty transferring large files to the archive server, contact an archive representative for assistance.
Please contact us at one of these addresses:
Send your project to one of the archive's representatives at:
Peñasco Independent SchoolsRepresentatives at the high school:
c/o (a representatives name)
P. O. Box 520
Peñasco, New Mexico 87553
At the elementary school: