Author Marcella Ruch spent many hours with Pablita Velarde recording her stories as first person reminiscences, which the artist has fully endorsed. These anecdotes go back to Pablitaï¿½s childhood Pueblo life, to her mother's early death from TB, and starting at St. Catherineï¿½s Indian School at age 5. Pablita recalls her later years at the Santa Fe Indian School, working with Dorothy Dunn to develop her art, and painting murals at Bandelier under the WPA. She reflects on raising her children alone, and her eventual fame as a American Indian painter. Her stories are about the struggles of a Native American woman in the 20s, 30s and 40s, but even more, reveal an artist who triumphed over many difficulties with strength, talent, and courage, to inspire later generations.
Each story is illustrated with one of Pablitaï¿½s paintings of Pueblo life, a photograph from her personal collection, or a historical photograph from the Museum of New Mexico photo archives.