The Jicarilla Apaches were to set foot on what would become known as the Maxwell Land Grant; people told stories, and boundary markers were rooted in the particular culture of the group inhabiting the land. The Jicarillas, in particular, marked their territory by the natural boundaries of the four rivers that surrounded their homeland. Consecutively, the Spanish explorers gave natural features (rivers, mountains, springs) Spanish Catholic labels to mark their possession. The Mexican government, through its grantees Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda, used maps and seasons to mark the land grant that they and their contemporaries knew as the Beaubien/Miranda Land Grant. Past histories of the Maxwell Land Grant have naturally focused on the traditional American Western narrative of Anglo male-dominated violence. But these physical and most obvious manifestations of conflict have overshadowed the real underlying tension present on the grant since earliest occupation: the contest over land and property rights.
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