Biography •  History •  Literature •  Southwest and Women

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We Fed Them Cactus

Second Edition

Fabiola Cabeza de Baca

Prior to statehood, the Llano Estacado, the great plains of northeastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas, were colonized by Hispanic ranchers. Cabeza de Baca's beloved memoir of the era has been reissued as part of the Pasó Por Aquí Series on Nuevomexicano Literature.

A member of an old Hispanic family, Cabeza de Baca celebrates her Spanish heritage rather than the Mestizo culture embraced by later writers. She portrays the erosion of Hispanic folkways under American influence, but by recording a combination of oral narrative, autobiography, family history, recipes, and poetry, she has helped to preserve these unique expressions of Hispanic culture.

Part of the Pasó por Aquí Series on the Nuevomexicano Literary Heritage


Tey Diana Rebolledo is a professor of Spanish at the University of New Mexico, author of several books, and an authority on the contributions of women to the literary development of the Southwest.


"This is a fun book for New Mexico's older folks . . . as well as a fine source book for the new generations. It is a must book for every lover of New Mexico history."


El Palacio

" . . . this modern forward-looking lady of the Llano, being a close observer, a patient listener and fully appreciative of her own rich heritage, has shown us life as seen from the early Hispanic New Mexico point of view . . . The chapters on the fiesta and chapels carry a peculiar flavor that could come only from Hispanic origin. Buffalo hunts, rodeos . . . and outlaw episodes make magic-like appearances as if mirages across the long vista of time."


Times Herald, Dallas, TX

" . . . from family records, church and state documents, and the stories of early-day Llano settlers, . . . Miss Cabeza de Baca has pieced together the history of the region, its people and their lives. It reads, not like a scholarly treatise, but like a collection of fondly remembered experiences by nostalgic old-timers, which it largely is. . . . the pictures evoked are sharp and dramatic. We Fed Them Cactus is an important and easy-to-read piece of genuine Southwest Americana."


The Daily Oklahoman

5.5 x 8 in. 218 pages 13 line drawings