Protecting a way of life

Dmitri Brown

In 1942, Manhattan Project officials found a site for their scientific headquarters on the Pajarito Plateau near Los Alamos, in the western hills of the Tewa Pueblo world.

Tewa communities had used their traditional ceremonies, art, and cultural identity to protect their way of life from modernity, including the railroad, pottery markets, and archaeological study by outsiders. They met the dawn of the atomic age with the same traditions.

Dmitri Brown is the Katrin H. Lamon Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe and a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, Davis. In his online Scholar Colloquium presentation for SAR, “Tewa Pueblos at the Dawn of Atomic Modernity,” at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17., he draws connections between physics, history, and Tewa philosophy in the context of the Tewa worldview, telling stories from Tewa elders.

Admission to the online lecture is free, with donations encouraged. Register at

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