Ram Mesa: One of the mesas overlooking the Rio Puerco. The ram is associated with Mars, the God of War, who "leaves us exposed to the return of the repressed, as rude eruptive violence...and as paranoid defenses against delusional enemies." (Hillman,1987). Hillman makes a distinction between "the ram of territory and head-on collision (and) the eagle of piercing surprise and the uplifting rapture of nuclearism." (Ibid.)
drained and buried: The UNC mill "used an acid leach, solvent extraction method (lixiviation) to extract uranium from the ore. The acid leach process produced a wet, acidic waste, commonly known as tailings, which were pumped to a disposal area. An estimated 3.5 million tons of tailings were disposed of in ponds until discharge ceased in May 1982." ("Superfund Project Update, October 1988." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dallas, TX.)
monstrous myth: Cliff Monster, "conceived by the self-abuse of a chief's daughter with a feather quill (is known as) He-throws-against-the-rocks, named from his habit of catching people in his long sharp claws and throwing them to his children lower among the rocks." (Reichard,1970)
gives birth: According to a tale of the Siberian Buryats the first shaman was conceived from the union between an eagle (the first totemic shaman) and a woman sleeping beneath a tree.
uranium mill: The United Corp. site, located in McKinley Co., NM, covers about 125 acres 17 miles northeast of Grants and one mile from the Navajo Reservation. The mill operated from mid-1977 until mid-1982.
spewing: On July 16, 1979 a dam at the UNC mill broke, releasing 90 million gallons of radioactivity into the Rio Puerco, contaminating water at least 70 miles downstream. More than 350 Navajo families depended upon this water for their livestock.