"Manito” is Spanish, short for “hermanito” ("little brother"). The Spanish-speaking residents of New Mexico were called “manitos” by at least the 1950s. “Manito” is also the name of the dialect of New Mexico Spanish.
OCLC WorldCat record
Los Manitos: patterns of humor in relation to cultural values
by Munro S Edmonson
Type: Book; English
Publisher: Cambridge [Mass.] n.p., 1952.
Dissertation: Thesis--Harvard University.
Related Subjects: Mexicans in New Mexico. | Wit and humor—Psychological aspects.
August 1953, Hispania, “‘Manitos’ and Their Language” by Helen M. Ranson, pg. 310:
Although the Mexicans are often malicious in their uncanny facility for finding just the right apodo, they can be affectionate too; never more so than in the name of their Spanish-speaking brethren of Southwestern United States; the diminutive of mano (for hermano), a term of confidence among humble folk. Since only a favored few of the northern New Mexicans have ever been in Old Mexico, the two peoples would hardly understand each other if there were no means of communication besides the spoken word.
Society and Health in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
by William Madsen
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
University of Texas
In South Texas, the Spanish-speaking people from New Mexico are called “manitos” and those from California are known as “pochos.”
9 February 1972, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “‘Manito’ Spanish Good, True; Use It Without Defilement” by G. J. Hurley, pg. A5, col. 7:
Why can’t a “manito” say “manito” instead of “hermanito?”
16 February 1972, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, pg. A5, col. 1:
I WORK for G. J. Hurley, whose plea recently for recognition of Manito Spanish by a Manito grammar and formal instruction is currently agitating our sensibilities. As an energetic fighter in rear-guard actions of lost causes, I would like to amend his remarks before the big guns are brought up.
It seems certain that realists will reply to him in effect, Manito is New Mexico Spanish: We won’t teach it for the same reason we don’t teach Kentucky English or Texas English. Or, perhaps, “A dialect is not a language.”
The Manitos of New Mexico and the Zuñi legend
CONTRIBUTORS: Author: Schild, Frances Duran
PUBLISHER: AMO Publications (South Pasadena, Calif.)
PUB TYPE: Book
SUBJECT(S): Mexican Americans; Zuni Indians; Indians of North America; Folklore; Social life and customs; New Mexico
OCLC WorldCat record
Crypto-Judaism : towards understanding the Manitos of New Mexico
by Tomás Atencio
Type: Book; English
Publisher: Albuquerque, N.M. : Rio Grande Institute, 
Related Subjects: Marranos—New Mexico—History. | Jews—New Mexico—History.
25 December 1994, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), “Utah Latino Artists Are Carving a Niche” by Shawn Foster, pg. B1:
Martinez is one of Utah’s Manitos—New Mexicans and Coloradans who are descendants of Spanish colonial ancestors. In the isolated sheep and cattle ranches ...
Memories of Chicano History:
The narrative of Bert Corona
by Mario T. Garcia
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press
And I learned when I attended school in Albuquerque about the struggles of the manitos—the people of New Mexico—to protect themselves and their lands after the U.S. conquest.*
*Following the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848), the United States annexed lands that had been mexican territories, stretching from Texas to California. The most populated area was the New mexico settlement. Primarily a pastoral people, composed of both small landholders and families who owned large amounts of land, the New Mexicans—the manitos, also called Hispanos—were able to maintain most of their lands for several decades following the American annexation.
31 October 1997, Daily News of Los Angeles (CA), “Graveyards: Sign of Cultural Boundaries”:
In Mexico and Latin America, el panteon, as a cemetery is called, ... camposanto (the holy camp) reflects the artistry of manitos, native-born New Mexicans.
30 January 2000, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “A Common Voice: When members of Manitos gather, barriers falls—and a family of friends emerges,” pg. F1:
She named it Manitos—little brothers, little sisters—a term that she says is popular in her native New Mexico “when there’s a degree of closeness.”
“Que Se Pudieran Defender (So You Could Defend Yourselves)” Chicanas, Regional History, and National Discourses
Frontiers, 2001 by I. Antonia
“Many of the Mexican Americans,” she recalled, “were called manitos [short for hermanito, little brother], because they were mostly from Colorado and New Mexico.
OCLC WorldCat record
The role of language in Manito identity an examination of the vernacular Spanish of New Mexico based on a linguistic analysis of literary texts
Type: Computer File; English
Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Texas at Austin, 2005.
13 January 2005, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “Rambunctious anteater sucking up smoothies at Sacramento Zoo” by Walt Wiley:
“Manitos” is a New Mexico term derived from the word for brother, “hermano.” “It means little brothers and sisters - close friends,” Maria said.
New Mexico Viewpoint
January 24, 2006
Un Manito en Mexico
Blogger’s Note: Identity among Hispanic New Mexicans is a thorny subject. Who are we? ¿Quiénes somos? (or as some nuevomexicanos would say: ¿Quién semos?) Nuevomexicanos have been distinguished among the Spanish-speaking of the Southwest by the claim made by many of us that we are “Spanish” and not “Mexican”. Other identities have recently come to fore: for example, genizaros (descendants of full-blooded Hispanicized Indians – usually nomadic Indians), crypto-Jews and Aztecs. The following essay is an expanded version of an article that I published in “La Herencia”, Vol. XXXIX, Fall 2003. In it I present some ruminations on our identity.
First, a note about some New Mexican Spanish terms that I use:
1) surumatos – recent immigrants from Mexico and their descendants
2) manitos – a term that Mexicans and Mexican Americans use to refer to nuevomexicanos – it comes from the word hermanitos – little brothers. New Mexicans historically used the terms hermano (hermana) or mano (mana) to refer to each other.
3) curre – corre in standard Spanish = run, go
4) espauda – baking powder
5) calentón – heater; in standard Spanish calefacción means “heating”
6) haiga – haya in standard Spanish (Para que no haiga problema, vamos a suponer esto. = So that there is no problem, let’s suppose this.)
7) pocho – recent immigrant from Mexico – often used as a derogatory term in Mexico for those Mexicans who have left Mexico for the United States
8) Yo seigo – Yo soy in standard Spanish = I am
Un Manito en México
by Richard J. Griego
As I grew up I never bought into the Spanish Fantasy that is prevalent in New Mexico. The idea that we were “Spanish” rather than “Mexican” somehow never seemed right to me.
Mi Vida Loca en East Aztlan
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Los tiempos finales
I’m from the Southwest. I, like most Manitos, can put together a reasonable claim to being part of “los primeros pobladores de Nuevo Mejico.” I’m a “local” out there, i.e., I’m a mestizo with indigenous and European roots. Unlike the East, the borderland outlook is rooted more in terms of the person rather than their class origins; a notion derived from a non-Eurocentric sense of self.
Authetnica New Mexican - South Hadley, MA - Chowhound
Tortillas - uh oh. This was the only real blemish here, but man oh man, why did the tortillas have to be so mediocre?! Unlike the made-on-premesis deliciousness or virtually everthing else on the menu, these were plain old store-bought tortillas. Aside from the chiles, my favorite element of New Mexico cuisine is the “manitos”: big, puffy, fresh flour tortillas, preferably made with a heap of lard, a regional delicacy from back when that part of the world was still Northern Mexico. As good as nearly everything else was, the tortillas left a pretty sizeable void in the meal. To be fair, the tortillas at Los Dos Molinos are remarkably bad too. I should also note that the corn tortillas were much less offensive than their flour counterparts.
finlero Feb 12, 2007 09:59AM
Rocky Mountain News - Letters - Reader Comments
My people also come from the 1600’s Americans- from spanish decent, fifth generations of what my parents called the New Mexicans..manitos.
Posted by mg on July 3, 2007 03:49 PM
El Cafe Cubano
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Agustin Blazquez: An Open Letter to Ron Paul
From: Lee Gonzales
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 3:34 PM
Subject: RE: [ronpaul-67] THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! We MUST CALL those traitors.
That historical truth I am in agreement with. In fact the New Mexicans, referred to as the “Manitos”, (the brothers) or those who colonized New Mexico, contributed to the Revolutionary cause of the Colonists in New England. According to a Catholic priest friend of the family, he said that 90% of the Spanish families contributed to the cause of the mostly English colonists fighting against the British Crown.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, June 02, 2008 • Permalink