Ronald Roybal’s Cultural Heritage


Some fans have asked me for more information concerning my heritage. I am Tewa and Mestizo (mixed blood Spanish/Indian) on my Father's side and Spanish Colonial on my Mother's side. My genealogical research has documented our oral tradition that my Dad's patrilineal line originated in San Ildefonso Pueblo (Tewa) and migrated from northern New Mexico to southern Colorado sometime during the 1870's. My Mother's people also migrated about that time. Many people from northern New Mexico migrated to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado during that period because of land base issues and epidemic disease. The families went on to mix with other Mestizos and Spanish Colonial descendants. I was born in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and spent my formative years in the village of San Luis, Colorado which is north of Taos, New Mexico. 

In the year 1598, my Spanish ancestors came to the land of what is now known as northern New Mexico. My Tewa ancestors had already been there for millennia. I am a Mestizo, meaning a person of mixed ancestry. Raised to be proud of both sides of my heritage, I chose to embrace the beauty and sensitivity that comes from accepting The Creator's gift of a unique life experience. To deny my heritage would be to deny my Creator's gift. However, just as my ancestors were challenged by their coexistence, my generation has survived by adapting to life in a changing world. In the process, many connections to the past have been lost. Much has been forgotten. 

It is a fact of my life that I am neither "puro Indio" nor "puro Espanol". I am a Mestizo whose destiny is tied to the 400 year old drama played out on the stage that is the land of my people. I am honored and humbled that my Creator would inspire me to express my heritage in a way that allows me to make contact with my ancestors, both Indian and Spanish. I pray that I can give honor to all the generations of my Grandfathers and Grandmothers. They helped to form me into the person that I am today, and for that I am extremely grateful. RR



My Dad (2nd from left) and his brothers…


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