Archives of Women of the Southwest Manuscripts

Folklore in the Archives

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Join archivists, researchers, and lore enthusiasts from around North America for a two-part virtual showcase all about folklore in the archives. Attendees will learn more about collections and research through archival materials on topics such as cryptids, urban legends, superstitions, local lore, hauntings and ghosts, UFOs, and more!

Registration is required:

August 27 speakers:

-Jennifer Brannock, University of Southern Mississippi
-Christine Blythe, Brigham Young University
-SMiles Lewis, Anomaly Archives
-Teresa Gray, Vanderbilt University
-Helena de Lemos, Occidental College
-Nick Richbell, University of Waterloo
-Matina Newsom and Bobby Griffith, University of North Texas
-Louise LoBello, Franklin & Marshall College

September 3 speakers:

-Samantha Dodd, Southern Methodist University
-April C. Armstrong, Princeton University
-Joshua Youngblood, University of Arkansas
-Ben Murphy, Whitman College
-Stephanie Khattak, Creative Project Studio
-Sara Butler-Tongate, Bowling Green State University
-Tiffany Cole, James Madison University
-Jennifer Daugherty, East Carolina University

Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest, will be presenting: Donde hay voluntad hay modo (Where there is a will there is a Way): Aurora Lucero-White Lea and the Folklore of New Mexico on September 3rd, at 11:00am.

Aurora Lucero-White Lea (February 8, 1894 – 1965) was an American folklorist, author, and suffragist. Daughter of New Mexico’s first secretary of State, Antonio Lucero, Aurora was extremely active in politics. She was named delegate to the Ladies Delegation Aids group in Washington D.C. and was a strong Lobbyist for women’s rights.

Aurora Lucero-White Lea , undated
Aurora Lucero-White Lea , undated

After graduating from college she taught bilingual classes at Tucumcari High school. In 1927 Highlands University appointed her assistant professor of Spanish, and from 1925-1927 she served as the Superintendent of schools for the San Miguel County. During this time Aurora traveled throughout the state for her job. She began to record the cultural folktales, songs, dances, and stories of the Hispanic villages she visited for in addition to politics, and education, Aurora’s passion was folklore. Author of several historical plays, she also wrote about New Mexican folklore. Lucero-White is most known for her 1953 book Literary Folklore of the Hispanic Southwest, a compilation of cultural traditions, songs, and stories collected while traveling northern New Mexico. She was appointed assistant superintendent of instruction for the New Mexico Department of Education in 1934, allowing her to include traditional folklore in the state’s curriculum.

Lucero-White worked on preserving the lore of the villagers or gente (folk) of New Mexico. In publishing the folklore, she hoped to keep alive, and to put into the hands of students and the general public the romances, corridos, cuentos, proverbios, dichos, adivinanzas of the past.

Juan Bobo cover
Juan Bobo cover

The presentation on September 3rd will explore the life and work of Aurora Lucero-White Lea. It will include excerpts from her plays and works, such as: Coloquios de los Pastores, a centuries old Christmas folk tale compiled, edited, and translated by Lucero-White and from Juan Bobo, the muchacho of Santa fe that charmed the Governor of New Mexico and captured the customs and flavor of both New Mexico and Spain.

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing these materials. The DeGolyer continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.