In this intimate account of Jemez Pueblo from distant times to the modern era, historian Joe S. Sando profiles the multi-faceted history of one of the most vital and enduring of the Pueblo Indian communities of New Mexico. Sando writes about many of the events he describes with the authority of a participant and a witness.
Sando follows the story of the Hemish (people of Jemez) from the origins and development of Pueblo civilization to the continuing struggles with the United States Government to maintain the sovereignty, land and water rights so vital to the survival of the Pueblo people today. Although all nineteen pueblos are closely related to one another historically, socially, and culturally, each is considered by its citizens to be a sovereign nation with its own government, customs, language and sense of destiny.
Sando also discusses Pueblo government, land ownership and water rights, farming and irrigation, the coming of the railroad, the influence of the Catholic church, the influx of people from Pecos Pueblo (now part of Jemez), education at the pueblo, the importance of the sport of long-distance running and of the artists past and present. The appendix contains a compendium of historical information.