Atarque-Now All Is Silent ...
by Pauline Chavez Bent

Listed as 82nd Most Popular Southwest Book on (10/4/08)
201 pages, 62 photos

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Selected as 33rd Most Popular Southwest History on (10/15/08)

Atarque is a glimpse into New Mexico's history. Settlements like Atarque dotted the landscape as New Mexico moved from a territory to statehood. Unfortunately, many of these villages and settlements are now disappearing. Pauline Chavez Bent has helped to tell some of the stories of New Mexico's villages, sharing the joy and struggles of its people. She introduces us to some of the people who lived with the hardships of life in western New Mexico and celebrated the struggles and joys that make up the soul of New Mexico.

Pauline Chavez Bent, born and raised in Atarque, New Mexico, has always known that when legends die, dreams end and history passes to oblivion. Pauline has been a busy presenter, emphasizing New Mexico history and the importance of preserving family history, and has helped many find their New Mexico roots. She was a contributor to Seeds of Struggle Harvest of Faith (LPD Press, 1997) on pioneering Hispanic women in New Mexico. She has contributed articles to the Voice of the Southwest (Diocese of Gallup), and the Apache County Observer as well as to several genealogical journals, including the Genealogist (NMGS). Her articles appear frequently in La Herencia del Norte and Tradicion Revista. Other articles have been published in Vista and Route 66 Magazine. In 2006, she was selected as the recipient of the Dona Eufemia Awards from the New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Preservation League.

Pauline hosts a study group known as Los Hidalgos de Nuevo Mexico and has served as vice president of the Southern California Writers Association as well as member of the Historic Resources Board in Huntington Beach (Surf City), California, where she lives.

"The vivid descriptions of the families of this rural community paint a mural of life, love, and Spanish culture which resound in New Mexico. The book explains the traditions that developed the self reliance of the Hispanic soul. It tells of a time when people in a community worked together as a family, which would apply to all settlements in the southwest that still endure; after all, we are 'primos, que no?' The silence of the village can be felt like sand erasing the traces of a culture. ATARQUE: NOW ALL IS SILENT beautifully preserves the memories of those who laid the foundation for future generations." -- Conchita Marquez de Lucero, a founding member and past President of the New Mexican Hispanic Cultural Preservation League

"As a descendant of the 'atarquenos de la familia Chavez,' I have found Pauline Chavez Bent's work a gateway to my own history and cultural legacy. This book is a testament to the vitality of oral tradition as well as the need for the 'nuevo mexicano' families to persevere in an ever-changing society. Because of her work, the 'atarquenos' have a solid place in history and although the town itself is now silent, the legacy left behind will continue." -- Vanessa Fonseca, University of New Mexico Southwest Studies

"It is important that we recognize our cultural treasures before they slide into oblivion. That is exactly what Pauline Chavez Bent has done in her book. Ever since I, a fellow New Mexican, arrived in the area of Gallup, New Mexico, to begin my new field of activity, I have been somehow attracted by this present-day ghost town. I was not satisfied until I could join a companion-Franciscan, with Pauline Chavez Bent as our guide, and make a tour of this once thriving Hispanic village. Now New Mexico will be forever indebted to Pauline for passing its colorful history down to posterity."--Fr. Cormac Antram, O.F.M.

"The pioneer spirit and enduring pastoral culture of the AtarqueГ±os is captured by Pauline Chavez Bent in this richly embroidered memoir of the almost forgotten frontiers of western Nuevo Mexico. Faith, family, and culture sustained Hispano homesteaders and their immense flocks of sheep as their fortunes rose and fell with the demands of the twentieth century. The vivid memories of a faithful daughter are enhanced in these pages by an extraordinary photographic and genealogical record. As a child, Pablita played the role of 'La Cautiva Marcelina,' a Comanche captive in a devotional folk play. The power of healing and understanding comes from those who live between cultures."--Enrique Lamadrid, Literary Folklorist and University of New Mexico Professor of Spanish and Director of Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies