The Friends have offered lectures on a variety of subjects for a number of years. These lectures benefit from our access to local resources, such as Mary Weahkee showing us how to make turkey feather blankets, and from experts in Pueblo History, Archeology, Pueblo Architecture, and much more.
Lectures that are recorded are posted on YouTube where they can be viewed at your convenience. Simply click on the link provided with the description.
New Mexico History & Beyond
The Life and Times of a Bona Fide Mew Mexico Original, J. R. Willis
Presesented by Joe Sabatini , June 25, 2023
Joe Sabatini's lively, illustrated talk captures the times, the spirit, and the work of this unique character. Arriving in Gallup in 1917, Willis carved out a niche for himself with a camera store, his photography which became thousands of picture post cards of Native Americans, and his paintings. He also helped organize the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial.
In addition to photography, Willis’s many paintings revealed the vast beauty of the Southwest. In 1938, Willis built a home, studio and artist compound, La Miradora, in Albuquerque which is now known as the Casas de Suenos Historic Inn.
Joe Sabatini doesn’t admit to being born in the Bronx. He received his Master’s Degree in Library Science from U.C.L.A in 1965 and began his career as a VISTA Volunteer working on an Indian reservation in Texas before moving to Sandoval County to work with the school and community libraries. Ultimately, working at the UNM School of Law Library he helped create an American Indian Law Collection and edited the American Indian Law Newsletter. After joining the Albuquerque Public Library as Head of Reference he became the Main Library Manager and then the manager at Special Collections. As a retiree, Joe has been involved with the archives at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Albuquerque Historical Society.
March 26, 2023 -Jim Eckles presents:
"100 Tons of Gold or 100 Tall Tales"
What ever happened to that 100 tons of gold and other treasure hidden in Victoria Peak on White Sands Missile Range?
Was there really more gold in Victoria Peak than in Fort Knox?
Did Vice-President Johnson fly a helicopter to the site and sneak off with the booty?
Jim Eckles will relate some of the peak's history and answer these and other questions about the legendary lucre of Victorio Peak in his lecture and illustrations.
Eckles worked in the Public Affairs Office at White Sands from 1977 to 2007. He just missed the gold search in early 1977 when Dan Rather was there for “60 Minutes,” but was there for the multi-year effort in the 1990s. He as been inside the peak, kicked rocks up and down its exterior, and listened to multitudes of stories and anecdotes about it. He says it was an interesting break from the typical bureaucratic work he faced piloting his desk in Public Affairs. Also, Eckles has written extensively about the missile range and the Trinity Site. He has two books out on those topics and frequently lectures about them.
February 26 - Roger Zimmerman, Son of an Indian Trader
Zimmerman’s parents had the grit to move into a harsh environment to carve out a living and Roger's childhood at the Mariano Lake Trading Post on the Navajo Nation is the basis of this fascinating and entertaining presentation.
Having mainly Navajo children as playmates Roger faced cultural differences directly, and had to learn passable Navajo in order to clerk at the family-run trading post and, after World War II, at their dry goods store in Gallup. Of course, embarrassing mistakes with the Navajo language and culture did happen.
In his entertaining talk punctuated with photos, Zimmerman will be relating these tales of life and trading in a bygone time.
Between his childhood at the Mariano Lake Trading Post on the Navajo Nation to projects storing nuclear waste, Roger Zimmerman graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Civil Engineering. he retired in 2000 after an academic career and working at Sandia National Laboratories to pursue his passion – history. As such, he has published “Kitchen’s Opera House, Gallop, New Mexico” and has presented numerous talks - Rerouting Route 66, Albuquerque and the Yazoo to mention two.
January 22, 2023: "The very early years of New Mexico prehistory: Nothing is easy, but it is always interesting …"
White Sands footprints are dated to 22,000 years ago, but those dates are being challenged on technical grounds. What should we know and what should we believe about early occupations of New Mexico and the Americas? Our Paleoindian cultures, Clovis and Folsom, have stood the test of time, but evidence for an earlier presence is building and is theoretically logical.
Dr. Eric Binman, Director of the Office of Archaeological Studies (OAS)
Dr. Binman is committed to multicultural education to both strengthen the identities of under-served communities and to build empathy between all New Mexicans. He joined the Office of Archaeological Studies in 1988 and became its director in 2006. The OAS archaeomagnetic dating lab became part of his responsibility in 1994 and he also was the construction manager for the Center for New Mexico Archaeology (completed in 2011). In 2013 Dr. Marvin Rowe and the low energy plasma radiocarbon sampling laboratory was added to the OAS, providing services to researchers throughout the world.
4th Sunday Lecture - October 23, 2022
Deirdre Kann: One Year is not Like the Other, Climate Variability and Extremes in the Rio Grande Valley
Climate variability describes how meteorological parameters such as temperature and precipitation vary from year to year and decade to decade. This presentation will focus on the climate variability of the Rio Grande Valley and New Mexico including details on how climate variability is measured, the climate record and observed extremes and trends. Additionally, we will discuss how the weather in the Rio Grande Valley is influenced by climate variability factors and the extent to which we can forecast variability.
There will be time after her presentation for questions and also to meet and talk with others who have attended the lecture. Refreshments will be served.
Deirdre Kann earned a BS in mathematics and a PhD in atmospheric sciences from Purdue University. She worked for various agencies within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for 30 years, including 23 years as the Science & Operations Officer at the Albuquerque National Weather Service. Now retired, Deirdre enjoys public speaking and outreach activities focused on various topics in weather and climate.
4th Sunday Lecture - Three Letters, One Special Delivery
September 25, 2022, 2 p.m.
Bernalillo Town Hall, Council Chambers, 829 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo. Masking is your choice.
Dr. Julianne Burton-Carvajal, author, historian, and exhiiteions curator, will illustrate how the King of Spain, his Viceroy, and Coronado himself used correspondence to bolster their positions.
Dr. Burton-Carvajal has chosen to focus on three letters from a collection of thirty-five in hopes of catalyzing a discussion about how the selected individiuals reinforced their positions within the operative hierarchy through their correspondence. The talk will not be illustrated with slides, but rather with framed items that will be circulated among the audience .
Over the past four decades the work of scholars Richard and Shirley Flint has given new importance to the New Mexico's Coronado Expedition legacy. One of their signal accomplishments is the volume Documents from the Coronado Expedition. They presented one of our 4th Sunday Lectures , The Coronado Expedition: An Armed Multicultural Commercial Enterprise on June 26 of this year.
Julianne Burton-Carvajal has been bilingual in Spanish since age 16. She was a faculty member at University of Texas–Austin for from 1972–74, and at University of California—Santa Cruz for from 1974–2010. Four years ago, she departed from the Spanish and Mexican capital of Alta California (Monterey) in order to explore the even more venerable Spanish colonial heritage of northern New Mexico.
Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint are the go-to experts when it comes to the Coronado expedition into the southwest in 1540. They have spent a lifetime researching this expedition and its impact on the area in terms of the humans who lived here prior to Coronado’s arrival.
The motivation for the Flint’s most recent book, A Most Splendid Company: The Coronado Expedition in Global Perspective, has been to identify, locate and examine previously unstudied and understudied sixteenth-century documentary manuscript sources dealing with individual persons who participated in the expedition.
During their talk, the Flints will present the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the 2,800 or so people who made up the Mendoza-Coronado expedition.
The Friends' Fourth Sunday Lecture Series for June:
The Coronado Expedition: An Armed Multicultural Commercial Enterprise - June 26, 2022 - 2 p.m. MST
at the Bernalillo Town Hall Council Chambers, 829 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo. The program will be covid-19 compliant.
Bernalillo: Between the River and a Hard Place - May 22
Author Martha Liebert will share the many, and until now, unknown stories of the people and places important to Bernalillo's growth. The contributions of these people created today's Bernalillo and their stories begin in its very early history and continue through the late 20th Century.
The lecture will be held at the Council Chambers of the Bernalillo Town Hall at: 829 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM 87004.
Los Luceros – Revealing the Hidden Gem of New Mexico” 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24, an in-person talk at the Council Chambers of the Bernalillo Town Hall & via Zoom (link is below)
Los Luceros was made into a historic site in 2019 which preserved 148 acres of towering Cottonwood Trees, rolling agricultural fields, incredibly preserved historic buildings, a delightful apple orchard, four miles of traditional acequia ditches, and a bosque full of wildlife… all sitting on the bank of the beautiful Rio Grande.
Carly hopes to demonstrate why this site is so special to so many people by covering the site’s history through its present programs and projects. It is time to excavate this “hidden gem” and reveal its importance and beauty for all to admire!
Carly is the Instructional Coordinator/Lead/Archaeologist at Los Luceros Historic Site where she has worked since January 2020. Carly has a master’s degree in Public Archaeology from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.
The Fall of Tenochtitlan - What really happened
Join us at 2 p.m. March 20 at either the Council Chambers of the Bernalillo Town Hall or on Zoom for a fascinating look at this piece of history by Sherry Hardage, President of Friends of Coronado Historic Site.
Most of us were taught in school that the Spanish easily overwhelmed the powerful Aztecs in Mexico because they were mistaken for gods who had been prophesied to return from the east. With new insights resulting from modern archaeological research it becomes clear that this long-standing historical narrative was based on fabricated accounts sent to the King of Spain to elicit his support.
We will be able to both do an in-person presentation and broadcast the presentation via Zoom. The presentation will also be recorded.
Sherry Hardage has had an enduring fascination with the cultures of Mexico since attending college at La Universidad de las Americas in Cholula, Puebla.
How Spanish Colonial Presidios reflect the progress of the societies they protected
February 20, 2022. - Javier Eli Astorga Villarroel
Javier Eli Astorga Villarroel will focus his presentation on a review of colonial fortifications - specifically Spanish Colonial presidios - and their historical and cultural uniqueness. His interest is in how the structure and representation (through maps and drawings) of the presidios at different times demonstrated the progress of the society they protected.
To do this he has developed a coding structure to chart this progress that uses special programs to use this data to identify the changes
Javier is a 2021 Friends of Coronado Historic Site research award winner.
Si Eres Genízaro: Race, Indigeneity, and Belonging in Northern New Mexico
with Dr. Gregorio Gonzales, Courtesy of Mr. Gonzales and SAR (School of Advanced Research)
In this presentation, Gregorio Gonzales examines the politics of racialization, representation, and subject formation in northern New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest Borderlands through an anthropological study of Genízaro identity in the Chama and Taos valleys.
Gregorio Gonzales is Genízaro and Comanche from the borderlands of Comanchería and Genízaro country in northern New Mexico. He is currently the 2019-2020 Riley Scholar-in-Residence in Anthropology and Southwest Studies at Colorado College.
Shields of the Pueblo People
In the American Southwest, shields were a way people dealt with conflict. The talk will focus on the history and technology of shields as items of defense and emphasize their use during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Marlon Magdalena, a tribal member of Jemez Pueblo, has been a Ranger at the Jemez Historic Site since 2005. He is currently the Instructional Coordinator. Marlon is also an artist, a flute maker, and a Native American flute performer who has entertained at events throughout the Southwest.
January 5, 2022, part of FCHS Brown Bag lecture series held at noon at the Coronado Historic Site.
The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program
Linda Myers describes her experience with Navajo elders. October 17
In 1986, through the efforts of Linda Myers and Grace Smith Yelllowhammer, a Navajo, the Adopt-A-Native Elder Program started by gathering donated food, clothing and simple medicines to support Elders living traditionally on the Land. Today, the program delivers 285,000 pounds of supplies annually to the Navajo Reservation to assist more than 800 Elders living by ancestral ways in Arizona and southern Utah
For her dedication serving the Navajo people, Linda has been honored with many awards and accolades and recognized as a CNN Hero. She’s been named one of ten women making a difference at the millennium by Forbes and honored by the Governor of Utah
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN ARCHAEOLOGY - Date: May 16, 2021
Rich Friedman can kick Indiana Jones’ butt!!
Rich Friedman’s presentation will include examples of digital data used to identify, map and visualize cultural
resources. These include GIS, GPS, LiDAR and Photogrammetry with a virtual reconstruction of “Downtown
Chaco Canyon.” There will be examples of 2D and 3D visualization the 3D “reconstructions” through time of
Pueblo Bonito, Chetro Ketl, Pueblo Alto and Pueblo Del Arroyo from approximately 830 CE to 1250 CE.
Rich Friedman received a BS in Geology from Adams State University but has spent his professional career
working in computer/information technology and archaeology. He has participated in archaeological projects using Geographic
Information Systems, GPS, photogrammetry, LiDAR and remote sensing with the Navajo Nation, National Park Service and the Solstice Project.
>Link to recorded lecture: Emerging Technologies
From Jinete to Soldado de Cuera: Spanish Light Cavalry in the Medieval & Early Modern Periods, AD 711 to 1848
Mathew Barbour, Regional Mgr. Coronodo and Jemez Sites - Date: April 8, 2021
The Islamic Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula demonstrated the effectiveness of Berber light cavalry.
The Latin Kingdoms of Aragon, Castile and Portugal all copied these troops which they labeled “jinetes.”
The “jinetes” proved pivotal in the Reconquista and were exported to the New World. On the frontier of
Northern New Spain, they would continue to evolve into the iconic “soldado de cuera” that challenged Native
Americans, and later the United States Government, for control of the American Southwest.
This presentation will examine the Spanish light cavalry tradition from the mayyad Invasion of Spain in 711
to the end of the Mexican American War in 1848.
>Link to recorded lecture: From Jinete to Soldado de Cuera:
With Fire and Sword -- The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, AD 1569 – 1795
Presented by Mathew Barbour - Thursday April 22, 2021
While officially established under the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had its roots in
the marriage of Queen Jadwiga of Poland to King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Lithuania in 1386.
The ceremony tied the Crown of Poland to the rulers of Lithuania and converted the Lithuanian Nobility to Christianity. “With fire and sword,” the two nations marched across Eastern Europe crushing Cossack, Teutonic Knight, and Turk to create a vast empire. Explore this multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant nation from its inception to demise. >Link to recorded lecture: With Fire and Sword
The Portuguese Empire 1415 – 1668 -- Presented by Matthew J. Barbour
Link: Portuguese Empire
Pioneering Women Archaeologists, Sunday, September 19, 2021 via ZOOM
Women archaeologists/anthropologists played important roles in the study of Native American cultures of the Southwest during the 20th century. Unfortunately, most of their work was ignored due to their gender.
Join Dr. Nancy Parezo, via Zoom, and learn about their lives and works and how they persevered in a field that was once male-dominated.
"Kuaua in Context: The Architecture of John Gaw Meem in New Mexico"
Rachel Preston Prinz, architectural historian and eductor, The ministry of Architecture
April 11, 2021
Rachel has researched Alexander Girard's work for Meem-led contemporary designs at St. Johns College and
the International Museum of Folk Art. She is a researcher of the Santa Fe Style (whose codification effort was
led by Meem),and is currently researching aspects of Meem's spiritual architecture in preparation for her
upcoming book “The Spirit Seeker's Guide to New Mexico Architecture”. In this talk, Rachel will discuss
Meem's work and influence in New Mexico, including the design of the Coronado Historic Site’s Visitor Center.
>Link to recorded lecture: The Architecture of John Gaw Meem in New Mexico
Native American Conquistadors: The Mesoamerican Conquest of the New World
February 11, 2021Presented by Mathew Barbour - February 11,2021
Mesoamerican cultures at the time of the arrival of the Spanish were incredibly advanced. Their military institutions consisted not only of peasant conscripts, but of a professional warrior class. The Spaniards realized this immediately and utilized these forces to great effect in their subjugations of Native Americans throughout the New World. This lecture will explore the role of Mesoamerican Indians in the Spanish colonial enterprise of the 16th and 17th centuries. >Link to recorded lecture: Conquistadors
Seven Bizarre and Extraordinarily Informative Artifacts found behind the Palace of the Governors
February 25, 2021
Presented by Mathew Barbour
Between 2002 and 2004, the Office of Archaeological Studies performed excavations behind Santa Fe’s Palace of the Governors in preparation for the construction of the New Mexico History Museum. This project recovered over 700,000 artifacts, each with a story to tell. Yet, some of these items are -by their very nature- more fascinating than others. Objects, such as an Aztec bowl with the power to cure acne and the slag-lined cupel from Battersea Works in England, have the potential to shed light on lesser known aspects of New Mexico’s often sordid and colorful past. This presentation will examine seven of the most bizarre artifacts found during the archaeological excavations and the history behind their use and disposal at the Palace of the Governors. >Link to recorded lecture: 7_Fascinating_Finds
Early Modern Warfare
The Era of Pike & Shot
January 14, 2021
Military historians often characterize the 16th and 17th centuries as the “Era of Pike and Shot.” The Spanish were the first to introduce to the battlefield a mixed formation of arquebusiers and pikemen during the Italian Wars. The Dutch and Swedes would go on to perfect this formula until wide-scale adoption of the flintlock musket and bayonet by French and German armies in the late 1600s ushered the era to a close. This presentation will look at the military developments and conflicts which characterized the period.
>Link to recorded lecture: : Era of Pike & Shot
Gunpowder Empires: Islam in the 16th and 17th Centuries
January 28, 2021
The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires are often collectively referred to as the “Gunpowder Empires.” These three Islamic states rose to prominence in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their armies were able to conquer large swaths of the Old World, uniting culturally diverse populations under large centralized bureaucracies. In doing so, the “Gunpowder Empires” set the stage for later developments in the Middle East, Balkans, and Indian Subcontinent. This lecture provides a brief overview of these three Islamic states.
>Link to recorded lecture: : Gunpowder Empires