American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-17-2019


Living the Manito Trail: Maintaining Self, Community, and Culture is an ethnographic interdisciplinary study that draws upon the voices of Manitos, or Hispanic New Mexicans, and experiences of migration from Northern New Mexico into Wyoming from late 19th century to the present. This project exemplifies how consciousness or a heightened sense of awareness derives from the value system of querencia or how one establishes a sense of self and community through place. I argue the cultural landscape of a person’s place of origin injects a set of values and distinct qualities that create a strong sense of identity, enable community, and serve as a social form of resistance in marginalized spaces. As an everyday practice and cultural tradition, memory, and orality provide tools for accessing the past, experiencing the present, and leaving a legacy to guide the future. For this reason, I draw heavily upon testimonios or oral histories of Manitos who experienced this migration, allowing the study to take shape by personal narratives and cultural dimensions that elucidate the dynamics of querencia.




Manito, migration, New Mexico, Wyoming, Sheepherding, Sugar Beet Fields

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

A. Gabriel Meléndez

Second Committee Member

Irene Vásquez

Third Committee Member

Levi Romero

Fourth Committee Member

Vanessa Fonseca-Chavez