Betrayed (also read September 2008 newsletter pages 4-11 above)
I was given a
copy of the DVD “The Last Conquistador” directed and filmed by John J. Valadez
and Cristina Ibarra and have found these two individuals to be frauds, charming their way into my confidence and saying anything it took, to get us involved. When I first met with the pair I asked out right, if this was going to be biased and portray our ancestors once again as villains, as assigned by the Black Legend. They assured me that because
of their Spanish Roots, they would do a fair job. As far as I was concerned when a person gives their word it’s their bond; unfortunately I was not dealing with people of honor.
I apologize to the members of NMHCPL and those especially who donated funds to help produce the “documentary” I use the term documentary loosely because it is far from a documentary, it shows great editing skills with deliberate attempts to bias. A letter has been sent to these two cons asking for a refund and to have the NMHCPL removed from the sponsors listed. As one would expect neither of the two had the decency to respond. The Judas money received from well intended people was used
to denigrate the very people who gave valuable time, money, support and advocacy. I
was lead to believe that the film was going to be strength based and would show the intense labor and human spirit it took to create such a fabulous sculpture. Shamefully, even John Sherrill Houser was used and cheated out of his so deserved recognition and honors, for his years of labor and sacrifice. El Paso Twelve Travelers was horrified by the DVD. My final comments to John J. Valadez is: “There was a beautiful story here, sorry
you lost your way and hurt a lot of nice people who worked hard to help you and Mr. Houser.” This end product shows your deliberate taking from well intentioned people,
who worked hard and gave so much to help you. Now I understand why you were vague
in talking about the end results. Even Mr. Houser is victimized. You have succeeded in cheating the public of a “documentary” that could have also shown an artists talents and heart, but instead of showing human strengths, we have another protest by revisionists, that has little to do with equitable truth. Conchita
john J. Valadez and Cristina Ibarra said they were
proud of their Spanish roots
but their film fails"
The Last Conquistador video may be premiered at Acoma. John J. Valadez and Cristina
Ibarra feel this would be appropriate and I must agree because it starts out with Theodore de Bry engravings and it continues downward from there. The video focuses on the Native view point and revisionist history, and we have been ambushed again. Sculptor John Sherrill Houser was an after- thought,
I give this one La Leyenda Negra award
Open letter to P.O.V.
Dear Mr. White
My disappointment in the biased information used in the The Last Conquistador has no words to describe the feeling of betrayal by John Valadez and Cristina Ibarra, who I feel mislead me. I agreed to be in the video based on a conversation we had at my home. I asked if this was going to be anti-Spanish and was assured that they were proud of their Spanish roots. I gave them several books yet a one sided story was presented, comments made by historian John Kessell were cut out as were mine. I know revisionists can spin anything and I feel this is what was done to earn thirty pieces of silver. I am disappointed that if a story was going to be done about don Juan de Onate that the perspective was heavily Native ignoring the cause and effect. I am most disappointed the artist John Sherrill Houser was cheated out of his hour of glory, we will never truly understand or see what it took as an artist to create this master piece.
John Sherrill Houser was to be a guest speaker during a meeting at the library. We were interested in hearing what it took to create this massive sculpture. Instead protestors, I feel John and Cristina invited, were so disruptive that the Special Collections Director had to shut it down. One protestor told John it was too bad he did not die in a car accident, they told him he was boring and did not want to hear about his art. I have never seen such rude bunch of people. They held signs in front of the screen and were chanting during the presentation and knocked down Mr. Houser's signs.
We missed out on history in the making, for shoddy sensationalism. What the public recived from your funds was a program on half truths and protestors. Yes some Acoma's feel their ancestors were mistreated for killing thirteen Spaniards who traded for goods but were ambushed and cut to pieces, after all as the ruling tribe in the area they had never been beaten. When I asked Conroy Chino of Acoma(?) what type of punishment their tribe would have meted out had the situation been reversed, he did not answer. One only has to read Steve Le Blanc's book Prehistoric Warfare in the Southwest to see what archeologist have discovered in inhumane treatment. Some members of Acoma want us to only focus on a punishment that may not have been carried out while ignoring that their warriors were ready to burn their people alive rather them to surrender. It was the Spanish soldiers who broke down the doors to rescue hundreds of Acoma tribal members from the fate of being burned to death. Yes I wish none of these situations would have occurred. I can tell you that the records indicate that the Spanish were protecting Acoma's land from raiding plains Indians and that both Acoma and the Spanish were working together in less than two years. Our ancestors settled problems that some are still trying to use to gain sympathy.
The people of El Paso and the Twelve Travelers deserve better, those of us who helped thinking we were going to get accurate information in this video deserve better and the Spanish history and culture deserves better, this promotes the continuation of the Black Legend which was demonstrated from the beginning, the public deserves better. Isn't it too bad John and Cristina will do so much more damage to both sides while ignoring thier accomplishments?
P.O.V. seems to feel it is alright to put on programs, saying you have a chance to talk back and that this covers diversity...when are half truths ever erased, when are lies justified, when is conning a group as to ones intent justified? Once most people watch this program they will have ammunition to continue to portray the Spanish as Theodor de Bry did in the 1500's. Using Harrigan as historian is a stretch of the imagination. I read her book and saw how vile she made many of my direct ancestors, with made up words. I doubt Harrigan would treat her ancestor is such a cruel manner. The Spanish exploration was not perfect but it was much better than many other cultures. I would put their record up against any others and be able to show a much more humane colonization. All we asked for is balance and truth, not just "point of view'. I was mislead and feel comments cut to make the an Anti- Spanish point of view Program. Is lack of accuracy a tactic you intend in allowing point of view?
Would you forward my email to PBS, which I understand is your affiliate.
Thank you reading about my experience with the those involved in producing the film, it is not just a point of view it is an abuse of power.
Does Valadez write a script with his backers in mind, omitting the facts that do not fit his script or the world view of his backers?
How does Valadez work on a project for 7-10 years and promote the genocide lie, knowing Don Juan de Oñate resigned and left in 10 years in good standing with no net loss in the number of Indians and Pueblos, the Acoma's returning home in 7 months free men with their children, and no evidence of the children being sold?
Valadez should have known, when Don Juan de Oñate's enemies had him tried ten years after leaving New Mexico, the king of Spain exonerated him and knighted him for his services, why did JJV's film fall so short of the facts? Why did it stress the lies?
in letter to POV:
I was upset and disappointed after viewing the trailer for “The Last Conquistador” by John Valadez. I saw lies and propaganda being used to vilify don Juan de Oñate, the Spanish, and the Catholics.
Organizations that financed this film like the National Endowment for the Humanities require projects to be non-biased and not one-sided I suspect anti Spanish propaganda and hate speech also apply. The organizations require specific instances of bias with documentation showing the bias be provided for their consideration, to this end a transcript is needed to remain faithful to the script and people involved.
As an example of my concerns the opening title refers to don Juan de Oñate as a conquistador even thou the laws of Burgos and New Laws of 1573 ended that practice there had not been a conquistador in the New World for over 50 years. The title hides the fact that the Indians had allowed the settlers in after treaties had been drawn up and affirmed to by both parties guaranteeing the rights and responsibilities of the Indians and Spanish. Except for Acoma the treaties stayed in effect for 80 years.
Don Juan de Oñate could be called General, Governor, Adalentado and colonizer but never conquistador.
Theodor de Bry
Balboa uses dogs against the Indians
The first set of images, are known to be 16th century anti-Spanish and ant-Catholic propaganda by Theodor de Bry 1528-1598, a German who had never been to the New World and died before the settelment of NM De Bry used the text from early expeditions and las Casas to draw sensationalized anti-Spanish Catholic and anti-Indian propaganda to justify English expansionism. Where are the de Bry images of Indian cannibalism, human sacrifice and sorcery? It was the Acoma who brought murder and war to New Mexico but this propaganda gives the opposite impression.
While crossing the Isthmus of Panama in 1513, Balboa came across Indians in the province of Quarenca, dressed up as women, committing acts of sodomy. He was so horrified by their behaviour that he ordered forty of them to be thrown to his dogs. The Spanish often took dogs with them on their travels and some were even given to friendly Indians in return for favours.
Plate 22 (16.2x19.8), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594
The text does not mention biting of hands or faces this comes from the imagination of de Bry
This incident in panama takes place 85 years before colonization yet the Pueblos remember the dogs biting the faces 495 years ago in Panama?
One can find an article on the Black Legend and genocide at http://www.millersville.edu/~columbus/data/art/CERIO-01.ART
The basic facts of the don Juan de Oñate period 1589 to his resignation in 1607-1610 are not brought out, when don Juan de Oñate came to New Mexico there were 125- 130 Pueblos, when he left there were 125- 130 Pueblos (DON JUAN DE OÑATE COLONIZER OF NEW MEXICO 1595-1628 George P. Hammond p.633 testimony of the factor don Francisco de Valverde.) he also said they had harvested 3 thousand fanegas of wheat in 1601.
After 3 Years the colonists were producing all the food they needed
For facts on the Acoma war see http://nmhcpl.org/uploads/Battle_of_Acoma_Q_A.pdf
You see with this bias in the first few seconds of the film a transcript will be needed to locate any positive information on the Spanish preservation of the Indians of New Mexico.
AT the pueblo of San Juan Bautista, December 30 of the said year, the governor ordered Sergeant Rodrigo Zapata to appear before him for this inquiry. The sergeant said that he was a native of the town of Azuaga in Castile, took his oath in the name of God and the sign of the cross in due legal manner, and promised to tell the truth. When the subject of the proceedings was read to him he said that when the governor left this pueblo for the said provinces, this witness had gone with the sargento mayor and other soldiers to the buffalo plains, in search of the so-called Cíbola cattle. When he returned he found that the governor had already left. A few days later the maese de campo set out from this pueblo with thirty-one soldiers, this witness among them, to join the governor on the journey for the discovery of the South Sea. This witness saw that in all the pueblos we passed on our way, the maese de cameo ordered that under no circumstances should anyone cause any harm to the natives or take anything from them. On the contrary, he gave the natives of the pueblos hatchets, iron articles, and other trading goods, and he also gave these things to the soldiers in order that they should have goods to give in trade in case they needed them. He gave this witness an ax and a knife for this purpose. Traveling in this way, on December i the maese de campo arrived at the pueblo of Acoma and everywhere many Indians came out to welcome him. Since there was no water or firewood, the maese de campo, immediately after arriving at the pueblo, sent Captain Gerónimo Màrquez with six soldiers, including this witness, to get some. As we were about to go up, the maese de campo told us not to harm the Indians under any circumstances. When we reached the pueblo the Indians gave us some water and wood and we descended again. Next day the maese de campo went up to the pueblo with some soldiers to ask for (corn) flour for the trip. This witness was told of this, as he did not see what happened, because he had gone to get the horses. Then the maese de campo led his men to an arroyo about two leagues from the pueblo. On the fourth of the month, which was Friday, he returned to Acoma with eighteen soldiers, this witness among them, to get the (corn) flour that the Indians had promised. While we were in the pueblo the Indians led us from one plaza to the next until they led us to the place where the men were killed. The maese de campo again asked for the flour and the Acomas said that they would provide it, but they delayed so long that it became very late. The maese de campo sent six men in one direction and six in another to urge the Indians to give the flour they had promised, since they had already received goods in trade. So the men separated, as the maese de campo had asked, and as soon as the Indians saw them split into two groups, this witness heard the shouting and outcries of the Indians and he hastened to rejoin the maese de campo. Although the latter saw the Indians attacking with arrows, stones, and clubs, and a soldier named Martín de Biberos was already on the ground, he ordered that no one should fire his harquebus at the Indians, but should shoot into the air to frighten them, as he thought to placate them by good treatment and kind words.
At this very moment Hernando de Segura was killed and many others fell wounded at the feet of the maese de campo. The Indians were so numerous and pressed so hard that they forced the maese de campo and the other survivors back against some rocks close by. This witness saw him and other soldiers, including Captain Diego Núnez, on the ground, and saw the Indians beating their heads with stones. He also saw that both men and women fought side by side from the terraces and the ground, hurling stones and other missiles, but he escaped, badly mangled, with four wounds which bled a great deal, and painful bruises all over his body. From below the pueblo he watched the Indians jumping from rock to rock, carrying swords and hats and mocking us, while others hurled the bodies of the dead down the cliff. Therefore, since he observed that the Indians acted without justification, he believes that it was done with premeditation and treachery. Later this witness heard that the Indians had killed a horse on the plain. He knows that the men killed were the maese de campo, two captains, eight soldiers, and two servants. Recently he has heard that the Indians had closed the few approaches to the pueblo and that they were ready to fight.
The governor asked this witness to declare under oath the situation, organization, and strength of the pueblo of Acoma, and he declared in reply that the pueblo of Acoma was built on a huge rock about a league around, so high, craggy, and impregnable that this witness firmly believes that unless this pueblo is destroyed and the misdeeds of the Indians properly punished, the land cannot be settled with any security, for if the natives were to revolt anywhere, they would seek refuge and protection in the said pueblo, and as long as they felt secure in it they would dare to do what they would not if it were razed.
This is what he knows to be the truth, under his oath, and when his testimony was read to him, he ratified it; he said that he was more than twenty-four years old. Signed, DON JUAN DE ONATE. RODRIGO ZAPATA. Before me, JUAN GUTIÉRREZ BOCA NEGRA, secretary.
5 At the same time they made a great noise, shot many arrows, and hurled stones and wooden spears at the soldiers. The latter merely dodged the missiles of the Indians, because the lieutenant governor had ordered his men not to fire an harquebus or offend anyone by word or deed despite the fact that the Indians had dug deep holes at the base of the pueblo and had concealed these pitfalls so that the horses and their riders would fall in. The holes were so numerous that although the warning was given and care was exercised, still some soldiers were trapped.
Saint Augustine in Ad Bonifacium. ...7 FRAY ALONSO MARTíNEZ, apostolic commissary.
Spaniards up on the penol were so few, not even fifty, for the rest of the seventy who went on this campaign guarded the base of the peñlol on horseback, there were more than ten of the enemy on top of the penol for every Spaniard. On this day the Indians saw either Santiago or Saint Paul.
In view of this situation, the sargento mayor ordered the men to water the horses at a place close to the rock, and while we were doing so some thirty Indians attacked and killed two horses. Then the sargento mayor gave orders to fight and declared war without quarter. We wrested from them a strong point near the houses of the pueblo. This took place late in the afternoon and we held it that night; the next morning we renewed the battle, which lasted until four in the afternoon. Then the sargento mayor told them that since they were losing so many people, they should surrender, and he would investigate who had killed the Spaniards and why, and that he would show them justice. To this and repeated summonses the Indians replied that they wanted only to die, together with their women and children; that the Spaniards should fight if they had come for that purpose, and they would do likewise.
The battle continued with great losses to the Indians, in view of which some of them began to ask for peace and to lay down their arms. The sargento mayor then ordered the harquebusiers and others to stop fighting, and posted guards and sentries with much care. He told the natives that he would consider what he could do to obtain justice for them. The next day the Indians brought a number of turkeys and blankets, but the sargento mayor refused to accept them and ordered this witness to return them to the Indians and to tell them through the interpreter that he had not come to get blankets but to investigate what could be done in this case. When we returned the blankets, the Indians left them as a pledge.
On the following day the sargento mayor started to arrest many Indian men and women to safeguard the victory. Then this witness saw that the Indians began to break jail, which was an estufa that seemed very strong. They had entrenched themselves so that no Spaniard dared go down into it, and a large number of Indians escaped. In view of this fact, the sargento mayor ordered the fighting continued without quarter. So it was done, and they set fire to houses and provisions and killed many of the natives. Then the sargento mayor ordered this devastation stopped and asked us to apprehend all those whom we could find. About seventy warriors, three hundred women, and some children were seized. This witness believes that about six hundred people altogether were brought before the governor.
In the meantime, some Indian men and women were taken. This witness believes that the men might number seventy or eighty and the women and children five hundred. They were brought before the governor.
The males who are over twenty-five years of age I sentence to have one toe cut off and to twenty years of personal servitude.
The males between the ages of twelve and twenty-five I sentence likewise to twenty years of personal servitude.
The women over twelve years of age I sentence likewise to twenty years of personal servitude.
Two Indians from the province of Moqui who were present at the pueblo of Acoma and who fought and were apprehended, I sentence to have (fingers of) the right hand cut off and to be set free in order that they may convey to their land the news of this punishment.
All of the children under twelve years of age I declare free and innocent of the grave offense for which I punish their parents. And because of my duty to aid, support, and protect both the boys and girls under twelve years of age, I place the girls under the care of our father commissary, Fray Alonso Martinez, in order that he, as a Christian and qualified person, may distribute them in this kingdom or elsewhere in monasteries or other places where he thinks that they may attain the knowledge of God and the salvation of their souls. The boys under twelve years of age I entrust to Vicente de Zaldivar Mendoza, my sargento mayor, in order that they may attain the same goal.
The old men and women, disabled in the war, I order freed and entrusted to the Indians of the province of the Querechos that they may support them and may not allow them to leave their pueblos.
I order that all of the Indian men and women who have been sentenced to personal servitude shall be distributed among my captains and soldiers in the manner which I will prescribe and who may hold and keep them as their slaves for the said term of twenty years and no more.
This being a definite and final sentence, I so decree and order, DON JUAN DE OÑATE.
95 Within the pueblo of Zia, supplies
96 Sufficient for two weeks alone,
And not, in this, to grant another thing,
I35 If to have given ourselves into your hands Deserves that you give us some satisfaction, Then let us finish what we have commenced. Here Zutacapàn lies stretched out And thanks to the Castilian who has made
140 Such soul be snatched from such a wound. He caused the deaths which we have dealt To your unfortunate companions. He sowed discord and disturbance Among all those poor creatures who
I45 Are lying lifeless on this ground."
And gazing now upon their dead
And then upon the traitor, all, raging, As on the chopping block skilled cooks Do mince up meat and sunder it,
150 So, in their rage they all gathered around And left him battered into small pieces; Happy and satisfied at this their deed, Returned unto their former peaceful state.