It is sometimes hard for Anglos to understand that the state’s native Hispanos defy easy categorization. To focus on their Indian heritage, or alternatively to close discussion by saying that culturally they are Spanish and Mexican, misses an important point. Something happened in the soil of New Mexico. Isolated by broad deserts from their countrymen to the south, the “norteños” of New Mexico drew nourishment from the land in which they lived. People from other regions rarely appreciate that New Mexico was a frontier unlike any other in our national experience. While Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri may have represented civilization’s advancing edge for two or three generations, New Mexico remained a lonely and embattled frontier for three hundred years. It became “una patria,” a fatherland, in its own right.