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Reies Tijerina Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-654

Scope and Content

The photos in this collection relate to the Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres and other events in the life of land grant activist Reis Lopez Tijerina. Most notablely, the collection includes photographs taken during the 2nd through the 5th Annual Alianza Conventions (1964- 1967), the "Poor People's March" on Washington DC (1968), "Tijerina for Governor" march (1968), Los Duranes Improvement Association School Protest (Albuquerque, late 1960's), the Fourth Annual Brotherhood Awareness Conference in Albuquerque, NM (1975), the New Mexico Conference for Brotherhood Awareness (Albuquerque, 1976), and the 25th Anniversary of the Tierra Amarilla Raid in Glendale, California (1992). Also included are photos of Tijerina's family and friends, as well as photos documenting various speeches, events and places.

Included in the collection is a Pictorial Collection Inventory. The Inventory includes a transcript of Reies Lopez Tijerina's commentary on the photographs in the original collection. In this commentary, Mr. Tijerina identifies many individuals pictured and provides personal recollections and historical context for the photographs. Also contained in the Inventory is a 2002 interview with Reies Lopez Tijerina conducted during a trip to Coyote, New Mexico to bring the Brotherhood Awareness Rock to the Center for Southwest Research as part of the Reies Lopez Tijerina Papers. The Inventory also includes a 10-page biographical essay on Mr. Tijerina.

Items in the addition are arranged by subject and date, 1946-2000. Please look in the contents of the original acquisition and addition when researching a specific topic as some subjects are represented in both.


  • 1944-2000

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Chicano land grant activist Reies Lopez Tijerina was born September 21, 1926 in Poth, Texas, to migrant workers Antonio and Erlinda Lopez Tijerina. Tijerina enrolled in the Latin American Bible School in Saspamco, Texas in 1944. He left the seminary in 1946 to pursue religious self-discovery. In 1949-1950, Tijerina spent much time in the southwest and Mexico researching land grants. He relocated his family to New Mexico in 1957, continuing his land grant research. On February 2, 1963, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Land Grants) was founded, largely through Tijerina's efforts. La Alianza quickly became a radical organization. Occupation of the Echo Amphitheater campground near Abiquiu, and the June 1967 armed raid on the Rio Arriba County courthouse brought national attention and intense scrutiny to La Alianza, destabilizing its membership and significantly weakening its influence upon Hispanos in New Mexico. Tijerina, facing criminal charges relating to the courthouse raid, traveled to Washington D.C. in June 1968 to head the Mexican-American contingent at the Poor People's March. He also formed his own political party, the People's Constitutional Party, and attempted to run for governor of New Mexico, but was found ineligible. Convicted on charges of criminal assault of a federal officer and the destruction of federal property, Tijerina served time in federal prison. Released in 1971, he was ordered to sever his association with the already weakened Alianza as part of a parole agreement. He incorporated the Institute for the Research and Study of Justice (IRSJ), a non-profit group that sought to research and study all aspects of justice.

In 1983, he relocated his family to Coyote, New Mexico, where he began to focus on international issues such as millennialism, nuclear armament, the Holocaust, and Middle Eastern issues, especially the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.Trials and tribulations from La Alianza days weighed heavily on Tijerina's family life. Two failed marriages and an arson fire in 1994 which destroyed Tijerina's Coyote home and extensive library, were part of the price tag for his activism. By 1995, Tijerina relocated to Michoacan, Mexico, where he continues to speak out on indigenous land issues and a variety of international issues.


516 items (5 boxes) : 516 photographic items, slides

Language of Materials



The photos in this collection relate to the and other events in the life of land grant activist, Reis Lopez Tijerina.Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres and other events in the life of land grant activist, Reis Lopez Tijerina.


Photographs in the original acquisition are numbered based on Reies Lopez Tijerina's commentary (transcribed in the Pictorial Collection Inventory) and are not organized by subject. Please see the Inventory, housed in box 1, folder 1 to locate photos of particular subjects.

The items in the addition are comprised of photographs and negatives added to the collection in 2009. These items are arranged by subject and date.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number. Potable mural items and paintings located in B2, northwest wall.

Images available online

Selections of the Reies Tijerina Photograph Collection are available online via the New Mexico Digital Collections.

Related Archival Material

Peter Nabokov Photograph Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries.

Karl Kernberger Photograph Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries.

Separated Material

Photographs separated from Reies Tijerina Papers.

Processing Information

Addition to collection processed in 2009.
Finding Aid of the Reies Tijerina Photograph Collection, 1944-2000
Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2007, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131