Book: Wind Runner by Ellie Crowecategories: Book, Indian Runners, History for Middlegrade, Biography Middlegrade, Historical Adventure, Historical Fiction, New Mexico History, Pueblo Indian History, Po'pay, Bravery Native American, Native American Runners
Ellie Croweabout this book: Wind Runner -- This story about Native American runners is based on true events. Young Indian runners as fast as the wind carried vital messages for hundreds of miles across deserts, plains, and over mountains. This time the message was WAR. The starving Pueblo Indians were rising in battle against the cruel Spanish soldiers occupying their land, New Mexico. And they were calling on other Indian tribes, some their sworn enemies, to join the fight. Running alone is Running Deer, a 14-year-old boy taking the place of his older brother, Star Fire. But can a young boy succeed in this dangerous mission?
I wrote this book after seeing a museum display about the Indian wind runners. The history was interesting and I could imagine the young runners as they ran through the dark night across the desert and over mountains. I found an old book, written by the Spanish missionaries, about the battle in New Mexico. In 1680, Po'pay, a Pueblo Indian medicine man, organized the Pueblo Revolution against Spanish tyranny in New Mexico. The young runners were a major reason for the success of this fight for freedom. Today, the nineteen Pueblo Nations, as a direct result of the strength and perseverance of their forefathers and their adherence to their native culture and traditions, still have their remaining homelands, their language, religion, and traditional form of government.
It is interesting to note that in 2005, a seven-foot marble statue depicting Po'pay holding a knotted cord was placed in the Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. Sculpted by Jemez Pueblo sculptor Cliff Fragua this is the final statue to be installed in the collection and the only one sculpted by a Native American.
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