The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 196

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

citations will confuse readers who might wish to track down some of his
Texas escapes Reisner's probing analysis. Its water plan, thanks to the
diversity of the state, was defeated by a mere 6,6oo votes. The number
of pages devoted to Texas projects is minimal. And Nebraska, which in
many ways has developed its water resources wisely, receives no atten-
tion. Nevertheless, if the reader persists through the welter of details in
this big book, the rewards in terms of insight and understanding of the
difficult situation now facing the West are enormous.
Iowa State University RICHARD LowITT
The Folklore of Spain in the American Southwest: Traditional Spanish Folk Lit-
erature in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. By Aurelio M.
Espinosa. Edited by J. Manuel Espinosa. (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1985. Pp. viii+310. Preface, illustrations, appen-
dices, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95-)
Aurelio Macedonio Espinosa struck deep roots into the cultural land-
scape of the upper Rio Grande. Born in 188o in the obscure hamlet of
El Carnero in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, less than fifty
miles above the state line, Espinosa established a legitimate claim to a
family legacy in the Land of Enchantment. During the Spanish colonial
epoch in America, Aurelio's paternal and maternal ancestors had mi-
grated northward into the borderlands, where they participated in the
founding of New Mexico.
In early childhood, Aurelio listened attentively to Hispanic shep-
herds' proverbs, tales, verses, and other fragments of folk literature.
The delightful stories he heard piqued his curiosity regarding their ori-
gins and transmittal. That fateful encounter with the oral tradition
profoundly influenced Espinosa's intellectual development.
Educated at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Aurelio earned a
baccalaureate in Romance languages, Latin, and philosophy. Com-
mencing a professional career in 1902 at the University of New Mexico,
he guided research on the Spanish language and folklore of northern
New Mexico and southern Colorado. Later, upon receiving a doctorate
at Chicago, Aurelio accepted a teaching position at Stanford, which he
used as a springboard for his folklore investigations and field trips.
Ensconced on the Pacific coast, Espinosa broadened his scope of
study to include southern California and the littoral provinces of Spain.
With a career that spanned half a century, Espinosa earned respect and
recognition as an energetic investigator and prolific writer. In view of
the fact that he compiled voluminous research notes verbatim and


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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