When meningitis struck at Fort Bliss, Taos Indians danced to cure the stricken and protect the Regiment. Left to right: Mike Romero, ‘Big Jim’ Lujan, Henry Lujan, Santana Romero and Jimmie K Lujan.

 

 

Remember Him?

 

Yellow Hawk Dances And Sings At Bliss

 

MAR. 12, 1941 — Yellow Hawk, who 10 years ago thrilled El Paso football fans with his long end runs, is now at Ft. Bliss entertaining soldiers with songs which his ancestors sang centuries before the white man discovered America.

Yellow Hawk is the Taos Indian name for Staff Sgt. Jimmie Lujan, Battery H, 200th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment of the New Mexico National Guard.

He and his two brothers, Sgt. Jimmie K. Lujan and Cpl. Henry Lujan, all of Battery H, appear frequently on Ft. Bliss entertainment programs with singing and dancing acts.

 

A Peaceful Tribe

 

Sometimes the Lujan brothers and other New Mexico Indians at Ft. Bliss put on war dances, in costume, but Sergeant Lujan explains that his tribe, the Taos Indians, were peaceable pueblo dwellers.

Sergeant Jimmie Lujan sings ancient Taos songs in his native tongue, which he speaks as well as he speaks English and Spanish.

“The old Taos songs are handed down from generation to generation.” he said. “We had no written music. Usually the songs are sung without accompaniment, though drums are used in dances.

 

Lonesome Cowboy

 

“There's really not a great deal of difference between the old songs of my people and many of the modern popular songs. Even the rhythm of the Taos songs is sometimes like modern jazz.

“The subject matter is similar too. Our ancestors sang love songs, and we have a traveling song that is similar to one of those 'lonesome cowboy' songs. The Taos music is both sad and gay.”

Sergeant Jimmie and five brothers all finished the Albuquerque Indian School, and while a student there, Jimmie, a member of the football team, ran 95 yards for a touchdown against El Paso High.

The Lujan brothers are nephews of Tony Lujan of Taos, who married Mabel Dodge, an internationally known patron of the arts.

So far, about 30 New Mexico Pueblo Indians, including 10 from Taos, have joined the 200th in camp at Ft. Bliss.

 

El Paso Herald-Post