Leslie Marmon Silko's short story "Yellow Woman" is set in a region of Texas very close to the Mexican border. The story tells the story of a young Pueblo Indian woman who has an affair with a strong, mysterious, and taciturn Navajo man named Silva that she sees while fetching water. He tells her the story of the ka’tsina spirit and Yellow Woman, whom the spirit kidnaps. The legend bears a striking resemblance to Silva and the woman themselves. When the protagonist accompanies Silva the day after the affair to sell meat at the local market, on the way there, Silva is accosted and killed by a rancher, who accuses Silva of stealing cattle. The woman mourns his loss, but continues on her journey home to her pueblo and her family.
The setting is important because of the proximity of so many proud and distinct ethnic groups living in the region. Silva takes the woman to a vantage point from which he claims he can see the world, and points out to her the land owned by the Texans and Mexicans. He also points out the boundaries between Navajo and Pueblo lands. Amid such a vast landscape, the reader is invited to consider the necessity and meaning of such terrestrial distinctions, and, by extension, ethnic ones.