Following the Manito Trail

Following the Manito Trail is an interdisciplinary ethnographic project that documents Hispanic New Mexican, or Manito, migration from New Mexico to different parts of the United States during the last century.


Looking at the many major migration corridors for Manito families, this project focuses on the driving factors for Manito migration and the exploration of notions of querencia, or how one establishes a sense of self and community through place. The migration of people from northern New Mexico is an important history in the diaspora of northern nuevomexicano culture. It remains, however, an undocumented account.


The western states’ rich and broad historical legacy has been impacted through the contributions of this cultural group of people. Who were these people and how did their language, foods, spiritual and religious traditions, and social customs survive outside of their cultural environment?


Following the Manito Trail will document the stories and memories reflecting a people’s uprooting of themselves and their families in search of work and opportunity. The testimonials will come directly from persons who experienced the migration or whose ancestors have experienced the migration. The project also will address issues of cultural identity and the preservation of cultural traditions through dialogues and discussions with Manito families who originated in New Mexico.

Riverton, Wyoming

In 1986, fed up with the standard of living they had been forced to endure for decades, the Manito community of the South Barrio in Riverton, Wyoming, took it upon themselves to pave their own streets.

Encampment, Wyoming

The Sierra Madre mountain range in Southeast Wyoming has long served as the grazing grounds for cattle and sheep ranchers, and graffiti left behind by Manito sheep herders at the turn of the 20th century can still be found today. These tree carvings, or arborglyphs, open a window into the solitary lives of these forgotten laborers.


Laramie, Wyoming

Singer Will Flagg of Laramie, Wyoming, pays homage to his heritage with his original music, "Wyoming Snow". "Wyoming Snow" tells the story of how his family migrated from New Mexico to Wyoming and the hardships they faced along the way.

All Images ©Adam P. Herrera

Following The Manito Trail logo and website link
Sponsors: Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research; Social Justice Research Center; Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund; University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development; University of New Mexico Latin American and Iberian Institute; American Heritage Center