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New Mexican descendants of conquistadores

Identifier: Film Collection no. 106

Scope and Contents

This broadcast discusses the inhabitants of Truchas, New Mexico, who were direct descendants of the Spanish conquerors who opened the North American continent to colonization and development. The Spanish conquerors were searching for the seven golden cities of Cibola, but found only Indians, pueblos and mud huts instead of gold. The Spanish government commissioned the Cortes and Velazquez expeditions after receiving reports of gold. Bernard De Voto, a noted lecturer and Pulitzer Prize author, narrated the sequence recording the tale of the Spanish conquerors and their descendants. The Spanish government sent colonists to settle in New Mexico, but they failed to find gold. Some descendants of the colonists and explorers remained in Truchas. Excerpts from the film The Seven Golden Cities portrayed Vaquez and Francisco Coronado arriving at what they presumed was El Dorado, only to find Zuni and Hopi pueblos. A dance-mime by the John Butler dancers depicts conquerors in search of the golden cities. Original guitar music was performed and sung by Jim Dimitris. The films were provided by the Santa Fe Railroad, Twentieth Century Pictures, the U.S. Information Agency, and Socony Mobile Oil Company.


  • 1955


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (30 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (30 minutes)) : sound, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy

Other Finding Aids

Finding aid: script.


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired May 22, 1955 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Ned Calmer, host; Joseph Scibetta, director; Robert Northshield, producer; Jac Venza and Shelby Gordon, assistant producers; Frank de Felitta, script editor; Grover Cole, production design; Tom Scott, music; Carl Schutzman, technical director; Myron Bleam, set director; Hal Anderson, light director; John Butler dancers and Jim Dimitris, performers.

New Mexican descendants of conquistadores, 1955
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
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New York NY 10024 USA
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