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Torlino's descendants, who of course are also related to Chief Manuelito, still live within site of the place where Manuelito's and Torlino's hogans once stood, and down the hill from where the great chief is buried. They don't make a big deal of their regal heritage, said Torlino's great-grandson, Lester Sam, 56, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Carlisle's poster boy.

Pictures of American Indians

Sam points out a mobile home that has been installed a stone's throw from the little black-graveled family cemetery where Manuelito is buried. He's afraid that if the area continues to develop, the chief's resting place will be disrespected or destroyed. The chapter recently passed a resolution to preserve the gravesite, so Sam is hopeful. But the situation is a metaphor for all the local history that is being lost or ignored, he said. As for Torlino, he has been reduced to a sad emblem of the assimilation era even though he never assimilated.

And as for Coyote Canyon, a place most people think of as a wide spot in the road between Gallup and Crownpoint, it deserves more respect, Sam says. This is the backbone.

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  • Coyote Canyon at a glance.

And Coyote Canyon is a place to be proud of even apart from the fact that it was Manuelito's chosen home after the Long Walk, according to Art Hood, 67, a lifelong resident and former chapter services coordinator. About 60 percent of the chapter's 1, residents have running water and electricity, Hood said, and more projects are planned. The chapter also boasts the Coyote Canyon Rehabilitation Center, an innovative sheltered workshop for developmentally disabled individuals, and a local resident runs a weekly women's sweat lodge.

The chapter's only private business, a trading post originally established in , closed in , never having bounced back from the robbery and murder of a clerk in According to Hood, the Rehabilitation Center is looking into opening a convenience store that would employ its residents. Sam is all for development, but thinks the chapter first needs to preserve its important historic heritage, including perhaps a monument to Manuelito and a fence around his grave.


After being relocated to Bosque Redondo, Manuelito was among the leaders who signed the treaty, ending a period of imprisonment in United States government internment camps and establishing a reservation for the Navajo. Tell our people to take it.

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He married Juanita a daughter of Narbona — August 30, after joining Narbona's Band, and went to live at their camp near the Chuska Mountains. Narbona's reputation as a wealthy and powerful headman impressed Manuelito. He especially admired Narbona's fearless attitude, although Narbona tried to teach him the value of peace as well as war. Manuelito spent his days shooting arrows and competing with other young men in countless foot races and wrestling matches, always winning. He dressed in well-fitting buckskins and a finely woven blanket.

Manuelito's legacy

He couldn't wait for his first battle. When word came in the winter of that Mexicans from New Mexico were coming to attack the Navajos, Manuelito fought his first in what would be many violent battles. In the years that followed, Manuelito led one raiding party after another, joining forces with other leaders such as Ganado Mucho and Barboncito to attack not only the hated Mexicans, but also the Hopis in Arizona, the Puebloan peoples of New Mexico, the Utes , the Comanches , and the Apaches.

Food supplies, livestock, and women and children were all fair game, and eventually Manuelito married one of his many Mexican slaves, Juanita Her biographer and great-great-great granddaughter Jennifer Nez Denetdale describes taking a trip to Los Angeles to view the dress.

Black bears fight in front of Jersey man's home

Upon his return, he again lived east of Tohatchi. He became principal chief after Barboncito of the eastern Navajos. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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  6. Retrieved Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Navajo Times. Navajo Nation. List of Communities. American frontier. John Jacob Astor William H. Boring Jonathan R.