The Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections is honoring women this month as a part of Women’s History Month. In this post, we honor a prominent Native American educator, Susie Rayos Marmon.
Susie Rayos Marmon born and lived at Laguna Pueblo until the time she went away to school at Carlisle Indian School in 1896. She was one of several students from Laguna Pueblo. She received her education degree in 1906 from Bloomburg State Normal School, now Bloomburg University, Bloomburg, Pennsylvania, and taught one year at Carlisle Indian School. She then returned to New Mexico to teach at Isleta Pueblo. Susie married into the Marmon family, wife to Walter K. Marmon, and aunt to Lee Marmon, the renowned photographer. She is also great-aunt to Leslie Marmon Silko, author of Ceremony and other works. Leslie Silko’s book, Storyteller, includes many of Susie’s stories. She was an educator who never gave up on her students. If a student ever had thoughts of dropping out of school, Susie would make personal visits to the student’s home. She was fluent in Keres, the language of Laguna Pueblo, and blended Pueblo teaching into her curriculum. She received many awards during her lifetime. One great honor is an Albuquerque middle school named in her memory: Susie Rayos Marmon Middle School. Each year on Susie’s birthday, April 24, the school celebrates her legacy by hosting a powwow. Teachers from her the school bring their students to UNM Libraries to learn about their namesake as well. You can find Susie Rayos Marmon (Mrs. Walter K. Marmon) in the American Indian Oral History Collection – (https://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=nmu1mss314bc.xml. Some of her interviews are digitized and can be found in the New Mexico Digital Collections - https://econtent.unm.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/amerindian/id/127/rec/1.