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Through July 31, 2022, the Millicent Rogers Museum presents Following the Manito Trail

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Courtesy Photo: Margaret Perea, with her grandson Robert, at her home in Cheyenne, WY. The family has roots in Costilla, NM. Courtesy of the Perea family.

Following The Manito Trail at The Millicent Rogers Museum

Through July 31, 2022, the Millicent Rogers Museum presents Following the Manito Trail, a cultural heritage exhibition that shares the largely untold histories of nine Manito (Hispanic New Mexican) families from Taos County, with public audiences. The project is a collaboration between the museum and several Manito/a scholars—Dr. Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez (Arizona State University), Levi Romero (UNM), Dr. Trisha Martinez (UNM-Taos), Dr. Patricia Perea (UNM), and Jesús Villa (Arizona State University)—who are documenting these families’ oral histories through recorded interviews. Both the scholars’ work and the exhibition frame these family stories within the broader context of Manito/a migration patterns and the Manito agrarian, artistic, cultural, and religious practices in the American West.


These migrations represent Manito family values in surviving, even if it meant leaving the homes they cherished. Their contributions significantly impacted the American West through Manitos’ labor in sheepherding, coal mining, railroad construction, and the sugar beet fields. Wherever they went, Manito families never forgot their roots in New Mexico, and they shaped their new homes to preserve and adapt their cultural traditions. For some families, the following generations stayed in their diaspora homes, and others returned to New Mexico. Through their descendents, Manito families carry on the legacy of shaping the northern New Mexico cultural landscape through professions in medicine, the humanities, the arts, linguistics, and agriculture.


The exhibition’s Humanities Discussion Panel series offers audiences several opportunities to join the conversation through direct dialogue with the Following the Manito Trail scholars and the project’s cultural community network.


Opening weekend events on March 26 included a Humanities Discussion Panel, sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC).


This exhibition will travel beyond Millicent Rogers Museum to two more locations in northern New Mexico (Santa Fe County and Rio Arriba County). The exhibition is supported by the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area and the New Mexico Humanities Council.

Following the Manito Trail is a cultural heritage exhibition that shares the largely untold histories of nine Manito (Hispanic New Mexican) families from Taos County. These families carried their culture with them through migrations to other states for seasonal and permanent work during the 19th and 20th centuries.Through sounds and sights, this exhibition highlights Manito family histories; the significance of storytelling, farming, agricultural, poetic, religious, and culinary practices to Manito families; and the Hispanic art forms of santos and colchas.


Located at 1504 Millicent Rogers Road in Taos, New Mexico, the Millicent Rogers Museum celebrates and shares the arts and cultures of the Southwest. It serves as a memorial to Millicent Rogers (1902-1953), a Standard Oil heiress whose inspiration, patronage, and collections form the core of the museum’s holdings. Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm, seven days a week. General admission is $12, with free admission daily for veterans, members, and children age 12 and under. Taos County residents receive free entry to the museum every Sunday. For more information, contact Curator of Collections & Exhibitions, Millicent Rogers Museum, (575) 758-2462 x208, michelle@millicentrogers.org


Humanities Discussion Panel Series sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council


Sunday, April 24, 2022, Cultural Fibers: Preservation & Heritage in Northern New Mexican Weaving, 1:00-3:00pm

  • Feat. Juanita Lavadie & Emma
  • Arguello; moderated by Dr. Patricia Perea


Sunday, June 12, 2022, Building Community: Wisdom of Place, Educational Attainment & Paying it Forward, 1:00-3:00pm

  • Feat. Dr. Bonavita Quinto MacCallum & Dr. David Fermín
  • Argüello; moderated by Dr. Trisha Martinez


Sunday, July 17, 2022, Following the Manito Trail: Platica, Poesía, y Cuentos – An Evening of Stories, Poetry, and Conversation, 1:00-3:00pm

  • Feat. Olivia Romo Gomez &
  • Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez; moderated by Levi Romero


Creative Arts, Music & Storytelling Presentations sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Speakers Bureau
Made possible by the New Mexico Humanities Council which is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the following three events are open to the public and included with museum admission.


Saturday, April 9, 2022, Paulette Atencio, Traditional Stories from Northern New Mexico, 1:00-3:00pm


Sunday, May 8, 2022, Music for Mother’s Day, Dr. Cipriano Vigil, Ritual and Traditional Folk Music and Song of Northern New Mexico, 1:00pm-2:00pm


Project Team:

Dr. Michelle Lanteri
Exhibition Director, Following the Manito Trail project; Curator of Collections & Exhibitions, Millicent Rogers Museum


Karen Chertok
Community & K-12 Programs Director, Following the Manito Trail exhibition; Director of Education, Millicent Rogers Museum


Levi Romero
Co-Director, Following the Manito Trail project; Associate Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of New Mexico


Dr. Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez
Co-Director, Following the Manito Trail project; Associate Professor, English; Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Arizona State University


Dr. Patricia Perea
Research Scholar, Following the Manito Trail project; Director, Manitos Community Memory Project; Instructor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of New Mexico


Dr. Trisha Venisa-Alicia Martinez
Research Scholar, Following the Manito Trail project; Migrations Manager, Manitos Community Memory Project; Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico-Taos and Southwest Hispanic Research Institute


Jesús Villa
Graduate Research Scholar, Following the Manito Trail project; Ph.D. Student, School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University


Lily Padilla
Media Arts Intern, Following the Manito Trail & Manitos Community Memory Project; Media Arts graduate student, New Mexico Highlands University


Natasha Vasquez
Media Arts Intern, Following the Manito Trail & Manitos Community Memory Project; graduate of the BFA Media Arts program (Multimedia & Interactivity), New Mexico Highlands University


Trevonte “Tre” McClain
Graduate Intern, Following the Manito Trail project; Master of Science student, Graphic Information Technology (Internet and Web Development), Arizona State University


Vanessa Reynaga
Graduate Intern, Following the Manito Trail project; Master of Science Student, Graphic Information Technology (Video and Educational Technology), Arizona State University