Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. vi-viii

Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

Research for this book began in 1996, the final edits were completed fifteen years later, and along the way I benefited from the kindness of many individuals and institutions. The archaeology faculty at the University of Michigan provided a continuous thread of intellectual guidance. I am grateful in particular to Richard Ford for his...

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1. Archaeology after Secularism

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pp. 1-38

Prognoses of religion’s future are different today than they were just a few decades ago. In the early twenty-first century, still reeling from the eschatological swirl of anxieties and doubts that accompanied the turn of the millennium, one finds respected scholars writing that they were wrong about modernity and the decline...

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2. The Paradox of the Priest

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pp. 39-68

The Pueblo communities of the American Southwest, those encountered by the Spanish in the sixteenth century at least, were “Neolithic.” Their technologies were of ceramic, fiber, stone, and bone. Domesticated plants, while present in some parts of New Mexico and Arizona for three millennia, had only dominated Pueblo economies...

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3. Belief and Unbelief in a Pueblo Society

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pp. 69-100

Were I to reduce the previous chapter to a single plea—that we take religion as seriously as the ancestral Pueblos did—then the present chapter might be considered an extended qualification of that plea.
The qualification is really a set of caveats, some of which have been anticipated. I have already petitioned, for instance, that we avoid succumbing to the temptation...

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4. Doings

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pp. 101-136

Doings. This is the wildly ambiguous term used in many Native American communities to talk about what I have uncomfortably referred to in the previous chapters as religious practice. Anglos, such as myself, who spend time poking around the peripheries of the Pueblos quickly learn that there are certain times of year when...

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5. On Effervescence and Sympathy

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pp. 137-190

On October 17, 1259 CE, at two o’clock in the afternoon, the sun blackened in the skies over Taos. What is the significance of an eclipse, fleeting as it is and without any apparent long-term impacts on the physical world?
Let me offer a crudely methodological answer first. Along with comets, supernovas, and the like, eclipses tend to be of special significance to archaeologists because...

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6. Katsina and Other Matters of Concern

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pp. 191-236

In the weeks after 9/11, American flags were flown across the United States as the collective experience of catastrophe prompted a new mode of effervescent nationalism. Like cut flowers at a funeral home, bunches of flags cluttered airports, fire stations, government buildings, and other public spaces. They suffused private spaces...

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7. Separation of Church and Kiva

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pp. 237-264

“What religion is practiced at Taos Pueblo?” The tribe’s website answers its rhetorical question this way: “The Pueblo Indians are about 90% Catholic. Catholicism is practiced along with the ancient Indian religious rites, which are an important part of Taos Pueblo life. The Pueblo religion is very complex; however, there is no conflict...

Notes

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pp. 265-270

References

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pp. 271-294

Index

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pp. 295-306

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About the Author

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pp. 307-309

Severin M. Fowles is an assistant professor in the anthropology department at Barnard College, Columbia University who lives and works part-time in Dixon, New Mexico. He has ongoing intellectual commitments to the landscapes and communities of the northern Rio Grande where he has directed archaeological fieldwork each summer...