Since their land was so inhospitable to foreign eyes, they retained their freedom longer than those tribes whose territory the predators desired, and plundered. Little did the invaders knew that the old prophecy had been tested: they were imposters, their creed a fraud, their ignoble brutality a sign they were of inferior stock to the tribes that knew the Peaceful Way.
So they survived the Castillans and their priests, the Anglo preachers who knew nothing of their culture and kept kidnapping their children, in the futile hope to convert them, and now the flow of tourists, ignorant, sun-burnt and fat, and ever so friendly. Yet they flourish, on the same land, now spared the threat of raiders, with better healthcare, a rewarding trade, and still, their incomparable freedom.
Image: The Medicine Man, John Moyers, 2007, oil on canvas, Tucson Museum of Art