Staff Report

Historian Andres Armijo reads from and signs his new book 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 10 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth SW, Albuquerque.

The book is titled “Family History in the Rio Abajo: Por Constancia/So that it may be validated.”

It brings together essays, biographies, transcribed oral histories and analyses of primary source documents, and gives context to how people lived in various periods of New Mexico’s history.

Early in his book, Armijo explains what the Rio Abajo is, geographically. It is the lower portion of the Rio Grande in New Mexico that begins at Cochiti/Pena Blanca. The upper portion of the river beginning at La Bajada is called the Rio Arriba.

The Rio Grande is also referred in the text as the Rio Bravo del Norte.

In the book’s foreword, the author explains the Spanish phrase “Por Constancia” that’s in the subtitle.

The phrase, Armijo writes, “is a direct reference to the concept and practice of scribes, attesting parties and witnesses closing official documents in the Spanish, Mexican and Territorial periods of New Mexico. This closure validates the act, event, transaction or tradition that had just taken place. …”

“So that it may be validated,” the phrase in English that follows, Armijo explains in the foreword, “resonates through the oral tradition by each storyteller personalizing his or her own history, thus confirming and affirming their life experiences,  and allowing it to resound from one generation to another. …”

The author, who is from the town of Valencia, N.M., began his career at the University of New Mexico teaching in the Sabine R. Ulibarri Spanish as a Heritage Language Program.  Armjio also studied and perfomed flamenco dance for 12 years. He is a short-subject/documentary filmmaker.

Armjio is the award-winning author of the book “Becoming a Part of My History: Through Images & Stories of My Ancestors.”

Armijo’s books reflect his dedication to the research and recovery of his genealogy and family history in the Rio Abajo. Rio Grande Books has published both of Armijo’s books.

At present, he is the primary advisor for UNM’s Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media Program.

 

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