In the late 1800's the mountains of Northern New Mexico were visited each summer by hundreds of sheepherders, each with a flock of more than a thousand sheep. Today, Antonio and Molly Manzanares run the last such flock. Limited by government regulations, a lack of young ranchers willing to take on the work, and a flood of cheap lamb and wool from overseas, Antonio and Molly have to ask themselves: "Will we be the last?"
In the highland rainforest, four hours Northeast of Oaxaca, and just outside of the Zapotec
village of San Cristobal Lachirioag, Edgar Gonzalez is recovering an ancient tradition while
combatting the culture destroying loss of young people from his community. At his homegrown
"palenque" or distillery, he, his family, and a growing group of workers are again handcrafting
the sacred spirit of their forefathers- Mezcal!
With agaves grown from the seeds of five wild varieties found in the surrounding forest, a still
built near the ruins of a “palenque” abandoned in the jungle for more than one hundred years,
wild yeast from the surrounding tropical fruit trees, and Zapotec blessings, the resulting mezcal
is a local, sustainably produced product, that is distributed internationally, while inspiring a
renaissance in traditional village based commerce and employment.
For more about Tosba Mezcal: mezcaltosba.com
Natividad Manzanares is known for making the best Bizcochitos in Northern New Mexico. The humble Bizcochito cookie has traditionally been made for Christmas, weddings, and special occasions for the past four hundred years! (Visit thewisdomarchive.com to help keep videos about traditional culture coming to youtube!)
Cipriano Vigil was born in 1941, in the Northern New Mexico town of Chamisal. From the age of
eight, he would badger the local “Resolaneros” - musicians practicing outdoors along the sunny
side of a house- to teach him songs and the guitar. During the ensuing sixty eight years,
Cipriano has collected the encyclopedia of Northern New Mexico music, learned to play over
three hundred instruments, performed at the Smithsonian Institution and all over the United
States, and written Northern New Mexico anthems that qualify him as a true voice of his people.
To Purchase Cipriano’s book, “New Mexican Folk Music: Treasures of a People”, Music CDS,
Cigar Box Guitars, or to arrange a Cigar Box Guitar Workshop, please contact him at:
newmexicofolktreasure.com, or email him at email@example.com.
Antonia Apodaca, 93, and Cipriano Vigil, 76, are the two eldest and best known masters of
traditional Northern New Mexico music. Both are New Mexico State Treasures, and both have
performed separately all over New Mexico and the United States, and on several occasions at
the Smithsonian Institution. Friends for over thirty five years, they have never played together.
Over the course of an afternoon, jamming together for the first time, they teach each other new
(but old) songs, play traditional favorites, and have a great time!
To contact Cipriano Vigil: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Recuerdo" captures a rare and exclusive look behind the scenes with renowned artist and Santero Nicholas Herrera of El Rito as he tends his land and paints in his studio. Recent winner of the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, Herrera's life and work is an ongoing remembrance of the land, water, and artistic traditions of Northern New Mexico.
Directed by Christopher Beaver, at email@example.com
At 85, Mónica Sosaya is the "Grand Dame" of the annual Santa Fe New Mexico Traditional Spanish Market- the largest market for Spanish Colonial Art in the world. A master Santera (painter of saints) and Colchera (traditional Spanish colonial needleworker) Monica has produced hundreds of artworks for museums and private collections, while mentoring many in the traditional Spanish Colonial arts of Northern New Mexico. Music by Lone Piñon, www.lonepinon.com
Rita Padilla Haufmann is an acknowledged master weaver of traditional Rio Grande style rugs.
She is also one of the few remaining weavers who hand cards, spins and dyes all her yarn
using only natural pigments, many gathered from her Northern New Mexico environment.
Monica Sosaya, at 85, is the "Grand Dame" of Santa Fe New Mexico's annual Traditional
Spanish Market. She is an acknowledged master of the traditional colonial Spanish needlework
called "Colcha" and has taught generations of new "Colcheras". In this video, she teaches the
basic Colcha stitch, and shows some of her work and basic Colcha patterns to a beginning
At 80, Eurgencio Lopez is still living the life led by his great grandfather, the famous carver Jose
Dolores Lopez. One of the few who still have grazing rights in the Sangre de Cristo mountains
high above his small Northern New Mexico town of Cordova, he tends a small herd of cattle by
summer, and carves Santos during the long nights of winter.
"Medica" Camilla Trujillo collects herbs she finds around Santa Cruz Farm, including "torito" (goatshead), "malva" (blue mallow) and rose petals. She boils them into a strong tea to infuse fresh lard and beeswax, making a creamy and effective herbal muscle balm.
Follow Camilla Trujillo through the arid landscape west of Española New Mexico as as she searches for wild fall herbs to use in her traditional remedios. She finds Garra, (Herb of the Virgin), Escoba de la Vibora(Broom Snakeweed), Cota, and Blue Trumpet. For traditional hispanic remedios and advice, contact Camilla @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Camilla Trujillo as she searches for wild spring herbs to use in her traditional medicamentos and recipes of Northern New Mexican cuisine. She finds scorpion weed, primrose, mormon tea, wild onion and chimaja, an ancient herb used in the preparation of beans. For traditional hispanic herbal remedios and advice, contact Camilla at email@example.com
At Las Golondrinas Living Museum near Santa Fe New Mexico, lies the last operating Spanish Colonial flour mill. Constructed by Jose de la Luz Barela in the village of Truchas, New Mexico in 1873, this traditional Hispanic horizontal water wheel powered grist mill was purchased and moved to Las Golondrinas in 1968. Reassembled there by Lauriano Córdova, today his grandson Lauriano operates the mill, demonstrating it's sophisticated simplicity to visitors and his grandson, Ravi.
Its the spring of 1999, near the town of Sarlat in the Dordogne region of France. Monsieur
Gonzales, an elderly local farmer, demonstrates his skill as a "Plieur de Codre", as he shapes
young saplings into the flexible wooden bands traditionally used to hoop cognac barrels in
France. A skill, which today, is all but extinct.