Cynta de Narvaez


Terlingua Oral History Project

Summary of Interview

Maria Zamarron Bermudez recalls funerals in Terlingua, Texas, she remembers the body being bathed in lemon juice, dressed, and a rosary being placed around their waist; caskets were made by hand, saints adorned the caskets and were decorated depending on age and gender; she explains the death of two mine workers that were caused by an explosion. She also describes celebrations in Terlingua, TX., were weddings, festivals, and saints days; the Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, and the parents of the groom would ask for the brides hand in marriage; wedding dresses were bought in Alpine, TX., while nice clothing were purchased at the commissary; she recalls her wedding day in detail; she remembers her Maid of Honor stayed the night with her, helped her get ready, and she walked to the church in the morning; the wedding had three meals and a dance. Saints days were celebrated with a novenaria in different houses each day; All St. Day altar were made in each home and decorated; Christmas was celebrated but no gifts were exchanged; birthdays were not celebrated. Maria recalls in detail working in the hotel and how it looked inside; she began working at the age of eight; she recalls the mailman and bread delivery schedules and how they stayed at the hotel; Priest would only come into town for celebrations or when called. She remembers during prohibition, alcohol being brought in from Mexico. Additionally she remembers that vehicles were purchased in Alpine, TX., but most people in Terlingua, TX., had burros; the mines operated Monday through Friday and children delivered their father’s lunch. In 1946 the mine closed causing many people to leave Terlingua, TX, she details using broken plates and leaves as toys; she played with her friends from school and siblings; to conclude she states she still dreams she is in Terlingua, TX.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

70 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1667

Transcript Number

No. 1667


Mayra L. Avila

Interview Number

No. 1667

Terms of Use


Included in

Oral History Commons