About the Project
Following the Manito Trail is an interdisciplinary ethnographic project that will document Hispanic New Mexican, or Manito, migration from New Mexico to different parts of the United States during the last century.
Looking at the many major migration corridors for Manito families, this project focuses on the driving factors for Manito migration and the exploration of notions of querencia, or how one establishes a sense of self and community through place. The migration of people from northern New Mexico is an important history in the diaspora of northern nuevomexicano culture. It remains, however, an undocumented account.
The western states’ rich and broad historical legacy has been impacted through the contributions of this cultural group of people. Who were these people and how did their language, foods, spiritual and religious traditions, and social customs survive outside of their cultural environment?
Following the Manito Trail will document the stories and memories reflecting a people’s uprooting of themselves and their families in search of work and opportunity. The testimonials will come directly from persons who experienced the migration or whose ancestors have experienced the migration. The project also will address issues of cultural identity and the preservation of cultural traditions through dialogues and discussions with Manito families who originated in New Mexico.
A collaborative effort
In addition to the collaboration between researchers and students from the University of New Mexico and the University of Wyoming, the Following the Manito Trail documentary crew is working closely with the American Heritage Center, an internationally-renown rare books and manuscript repository and archive, located in Laramie, Wyoming, to create a lasting biographical history of Manito migration in the West.