About this blog

Jim Griffith is the former director of the Southwest Folklore Center at the University of Arizona, and co-founder of Tucson Meet Yourself. He’s also the author of seven books on the folklore and folklife of our region, most recently “A Border Runs Through It.” His books can be purchased at

If you have questions or suggestions for Jim Griffith or this blog, e-mail

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More Big Jim stories and videos

Jim Griffith shows us how and when to harvest saguaro fruit.

Bernard L. “Bunny” Fontana has come out with a new book on the history of our mission.

When dealing with another culture, you don’t always know what is really going on.

There is really little to add about Mother's Day, except this story.

After a long wait, the work on Mission San Xavier’s east tower is finally beginning.

Jim recalls a time when the sand trout hooked a sucker.

Pedro Calles Encinas was born on January 29, 1914, in San Pedro de la Cueva, Sonora. His father was one of Pancho Villa’s victims in the mass slaughter of December, 1915, and Calles grew up fatherless in a village of fatherless children.

Big Jim discusses how one goes about catching the legendary sand trout.

In October 1915, Pancho Villa decided to recoup his fortunes by invading Sonora.

A few Spanish words common in our region, which don’t exist or have different meanings in other parts of the Mexican world. 

Jim Griffith describes the role rosaries play in Yaqui Easter.

Jim tells of how a gila monster can become a helium monster.

In this episode, Jim describes the rules and rituals of Yaqui Easter.

This weekend we all have a chance to attend Arizona’s newest folklife festival.

Jim Griffith tells of the race between Relámpago and El Moro.

In 1882 the Edmund Bill was passed in Washington, D.C., outlawing the practice of polygamy in the United States. For Mormons this was a direct blow against one of the tenets of their church, and when polygamous families started being prosecuted by the Federal Government many of them felt the…

This is a replay of the entry for "Our Storied Desert Land" written a year ago by Jim Griffith.

Jim Griffith needs a little time off, but he hopes to return soon with some video tales.

It’s Black History Month, so I might as well tell one more story involving the 10th Cavalry Regiment — the famed Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Huachuca.

Today San Juan Bautista is a registered historic site.

Almost five years after the siege of Naco another armed clash occurred on the border also involving the “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 10th Cavalry. In August, 1918 things were tense between the twin border cities of Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona. World War I was dragging on in Europe. The…

Jim Griffith took a couple of days off but is now working on his blog for next week.

Good news: Camp Naco is at last being stabilized and preserved.

Presidios — military bases — were the major protection of the frontier of New Spain.

Last week I helped out with a folklife field school on the Rio Sonora. I’ve visited this lovely valley in previous blogs and will doubtless visit it some more, because it is filled with good stories.

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