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An Archaeological History of Pueblo Resistance and Revitalization in 17th Century New Mexico

By Matthew Liebmann

Publication Year: 2012

Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University. <br><br> The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 is the most renowned colonial uprisings in the history of the American Southwest. Traditional text-based accounts tend to focus on the revolt and the Spaniards' reconquest in 1692--completely skipping over the years of indigenous independence that occurred in between. Revolt boldly breaks out of this mold and examines the aftermath of the uprising in colonial New Mexico, focusing on the radical changes it instigated in Pueblo culture and society. <br><br>  In addition to being the first book-length history of the revolt that incorporates archaeological evidence as a primary source of data, this volume is one of a kind in its attempt to put these events into the larger context of Native American cultural revitalization. Despite the fact that the only surviving records of the revolt were written by Spanish witnesses and contain certain biases, author Matthew Liebmann finds unique ways to bring a fresh perspective to Revolt. <br><br>  Most notably, he uses his hands-on experience at Ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites--four Pueblo villages constructed between 1680 and 1696 in the Jemez province of New Mexico--to provide an understanding of this period that other treatments have yet to accomplish. By analyzing ceramics, architecture, and rock art of the Pueblo Revolt era, he sheds new light on a period often portrayed as one of unvarying degradation and dissention among Pueblos. A compelling read, Revolt's "blood-and-thunder" story successfully ties together archaeology, history, and ethnohistory to add a new dimension to this uprising and its aftermath.

Published by: University of Arizona Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiv


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pp. xv-16


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pp. xvi-xx

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1. Introduction: Archaeology, Anthropology, and the Pueblo Revolt

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pp. 1-26

July 24, 1694. With their homes in flames, enemy soldiers advancing, and all escape routes blocked, the Pueblo Indian warriors of the Jemez village of Astialakwa were out of options. The acrid smoke and gunpowder that smeared the air was pierced by the screams of their wives, mothers,...

Part I. The Genesis of a Prophecy: 1598–1680

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2. Life under the Mission Bell

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pp. 29-49

Why did the Pueblos revolt in 1680, driving Spanish colonists out of northern New Mexico? Investigators have debated this question for more than three centuries. In the days and weeks immediately following the uprising, the newly exiled friars framed their inquiries in theological terms, asking...

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3. “Apostatizing from the Holy Faith”: The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

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pp. 50-68

Over the past three hundred years Po’pay has been characterized in various and often contradictory ways by many different people: holy man and agent of Satan; passive priest and fierce warrior; cruel despot and benevolent chief; devoutly religious recluse and rabble-rousing field marshal; traditional Pueblo war captain and one who ruled in the manner of a Spanish...

Part II. The Era of Pueblo Independence: 1680–92

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4. The Aftermath of Revolution

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pp. 71-82

With the Spaniards gone and the weight of the colonial yoke lifted from their necks for the first time in more than eight decades, the Pueblos celebrated their newfound freedom. In plazas throughout the northern Rio Grande the kachinas danced again and people gathered in kivas without fear of reprisals. Pueblo men and women rushed to collect the spoils...

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5. Rebuilding the Pueblo World, 1681–1683

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pp. 83-108

Following Otermín’s second retreat, the documentary record concerning events in the Pueblo world goes cold. Spanish chronicles have passed on just a few meager sentences about life in the northern Rio Grande during the eleven-year gap between 1681 and the colonizers’ reconquest of...

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6. Dismembering and Remembering: The Simulacra of Post-Revolt Settlements

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pp. 109-134

With the sun hanging low in the southern sky of late 1681 the Spaniards questioned Pedro Naranjo, an eighty-year-old “sorcerer and idolater” from San Felipe Pueblo. The octogenarian was an esteemed holy man in his home community and had been sent to the southern Pueblos by the...

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7. Catachresis and Catechesis: Pueblo Appropriations of Colonial Culture during the Spanish Interregnum

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pp. 135-158

In a remote cave dwelling in Frijoles Canyon, about thirty-four kilometers (twenty-one miles) northeast of Boletsakwa, a series of anthropomorphic figures incised in mud plaster dance nimbly along the walls. This cavate was last occupied in the late seventeenth century,1 most likely during...

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8. From Apostates to Compadres: Colonial Ambivalence in a Time of “Unceasing War,” 1687–1692

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pp. 159-178

As the Jemez River exits the southern end of the Jemez Province, its meanders merge with the Rio Salado and fan out across a sun-baked plain to the southeast. The waters warm as they flow over red sands, past the pueblos of Zia and Tamaya (Santa Ana), before merging one last time with...

Part III. Return of the Castyilash: 1692–1696

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9. Reconquista de Sangre

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pp. 181-206

It was the time of year when the people of Cerro Colorado began to awake with cold noses. The aspen leaves were turning the colors of fire, and smoke spiraled through the rungs of the ladders as it rose out the rooftop hatchways. Three years had passed since the last time the...

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10. Conclusion: Popay’s Long Shadow

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pp. 207-214

On August 10, 2005, I stood looking across the central plaza of the ancestral Jemez pueblo of Giusewa in northern New Mexico. An army of piñon, juniper, and ponderosa pines stood sentinel over the stone walls and kivas of the long-vacant village, while nearby the Jemez River slipped between...

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Epilogue: The Pueblo Revolt of 1696

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pp. 215-220

Following the Battle at Astialakwa, the Jemez returned to their homes at Patokwa and Boletsakwa. In late September 1694, Vargas visited Patokwa and installed Fray Francisco de Jesús María Casañas as the new missionary there. The Jemez had constructed a mission complex in the northwest...


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pp. 221-238


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pp. 239-274


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pp. 275-288

About the Author

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p. 310-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780816599653
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816528653

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2012