In the following weeks I will be posting some photographs and excerpts form the interviews with the Spanish descendants I met during the journey. It has been a fascinating experience to cross our paths and I hope to share some glimpses about how they feel when thinking in their identity.
Corina was born in Taos, in northern New Mexico, and now lives in Santa Fe. She works as an accountant and also serves as a Major and Logistics Officer for the U.S. Army Reserves. As she told me, she belongs to many cultures, with one ancestor from France and some from Spain, who arrived via Mexico, finally settling in Rancho de Taos on what was then the frontier of New Spain. Some of the descendants of these first conquistadors were mixed blood with Native Americans from the surrounding area. Others were mixed with the ‘‘genízaros’’ that settled in this lands. They traded with the nomadic Navajos, Apaches, Utes and Comanches, who in most cases had been forced to accept Catholicism and speak Spanish. Corina is not totally sure about where exactly in Spain her ancestors came from, but she proudly celebrates her shared roots. She has formed a traditional folkloric group with her twelve-year-old daughter and they dance together at many fiestas in and around Santa Fe. Each New Year’s Eve, she joins her family in Taos to dance traditional ‘‘Comanche dances,’’ which honor the arrival of a new period.