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Primary Source Exercise

A primary source is a first-hand, original account, record, or evidence about a person, place, object, or an event. Oral histories, objects, photographs, and documents such as newspapers, ledgers, census records, diaries, journals,and inventories, are primary sources.

We have selected some primary sources that you might find in the University Archives if you were trying to find first-hand accounts relating to the following topics: Chicanos at CSU-Pueblo, Penitentes of the Southwest, and the Coors Brewing Company Boycott

Please read and examine each item and answer the questions below each to the best of your ability. 

Chicanos at Colorado State University-Pueblo

Letter, David Vigil, Pres. C.U.F.A., to Pauline Spinuzzi, Affirmative Action Officer, Southern Colorado State College, May 12, 1975.  David Vigil Papers, University Archives.

  1. What are the students asking for in terms of hiring
  2. What do they appear to be upset about?
  3. What is C.U.F.A.?

The Penitentes of the Southwest

Background:  The Penitentes were a Hispanic lay brotherhood which arose in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.  The Penitentes practiced voluntary self-punishment to atone for their sins, as part of their religious beliefs.  These could include whipping, wearing cactus on their backs, lashing with fence wire, among others.

Book excerpt, The passionists of the Southwest, or The holy brotherhood : a revelation of the Penitentes/ by Alex. M. Darley. Pueblo, Colo. : 1893.

  1. What is the role of women in Penitente gatherings?
  2. What methods of penance do the Penitentes use?
  3. From what perspective is this document written?

Newspaper Article, Chicago Tribune, “Scourge with whips,” February 25, 1894.

  1. How does this Eastern newspaper reflect ideas about the Penitentes to its readership? 
  2. Choose one image that stands out to you and explain why you picked that image.
  3. If you only read this article, what would you think about their practices?

Coors Brewing Company Boycott

"Coors turns boycotters into buyers," by Janet Simon, Advertising Age, v. 57, no. 16, 46-47.

  1. What Hispanic Organization was the first to boycott Coors?
  2. Why was the Hispanic Population significant to Coors?
  3. In 1977 How did Coors attempt to win the Hispanic market?
  4. Why did LULAC refuse to sign the pact with Coors?

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