Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This Is New Mexico

Taos blue doors, red chile ristras and varas de San Jose (hollyhocks) are classic New Mexico. The only thing missing are lirios (iris).

So here they are.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Marc Simmons had a good article on these folks. Read it here:

We most likely all have several Genizaros in our family trees.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don Pino Va y Don Pino Viene

Don Pino va y don Pino viene, don Pino fue y don Pino vino. Qual era? Which was it? Does it matter? What it means literally is don Pino went and don Pino came. But what in reality it really meant is explained below.

What it means is "more of the same", same old, same old. Com se com sa. Nothing changes. Those were the sentiments of many New Mexicans during the Spanish and Mexican periods. There were changes, most of them administrative which had little or no impact on your average New Mexican.

There was no help from the government, Spanish or Mexican, none at all. New Mexico was a distant ignored island in both the Spanish empire and the Mexican nation. New Mexicans lived in virtual and literal isolation from 1598 until they took things into their own hands in the early and mid 1800's. First they allowed French trappers and traders into the province and next trappers and then traders from the United States.

It was the beginning of the end for the old order. The new would come rushing in and change everything in a relatively short time. The mold was cast early, whatever wealth there was in New Mexico now belonged to a few of the New Mexicans who understood the new system and to Americans who had changed the laws which New Mexicans had grown accustomed to operating under. The wealth had, for the most part, changed hands and the average New Mexican was left in poverty. Not that he was not used to it.

The saying comes from the trip that don Pedro Bautista Pino of Santa Fe undertook to Cadiz, Spain  after he was named as the New Mexican representative to the Spanish Cortes. He was selected at a meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 1, 1819. His trip was meant to try and improve things by explaining to members of the Spanish Cortes how crude and neglected things were in New Mexico and how the Spanish crown might help.

Spain, as it was, could do nothing as it had it's own problems and the flag of Spain which had flown over New Mexico since 1598 was soon to be replaced by the flag of the new republic of Mexico.

Things did not change as a result of the change in administration from Spanish to Mexican, things changed because New Mexicans changed their policies as regards of trade. Trading with other nations. The Santa Fe Trail was soon to be a major highway between the United States and Mexico. Don Pedro Bautista Pino actually warned the Spanish Cortes of this as a danger to the province.

Don Pedro's words to the Cortes were " these official instructions will prove to your majesty the imminent danger  of these provinces' falling prey to our neighbors (the United States), thus leaving the other provinces to the same fate."

Don Pedro continued "I trust your majesty may become aware of this fact, because the purchase of Louisiana by the United States has opened the way for the Americans to arm and incite the wild Indians (Navajos, Apaches, Pawnees, Cheyenne etc. Pueblos, Kiowa and Comanches were allies of the Spanish) against us; also the way is open for the Americans to invade the province. Once the territory is lost, it will be impossible to recover."