An Attempt at Redemption Long Overdue
The Acoma Massacre seems to be having great effects long after the dates of its events. In the document “The Mystery of the Sawed-Off Foot,” an incident took place on one January evening in 1998 at New Mexico’s Juan de Onate Monument Visitor’s Center where unknown individuals vandalized the statue of Juan de Onate by cutting off its right foot. The individuals opposed to the statue viewed the actions of the vandals as justification towards Onate’s involvement in the Acoma Massacre where his soldiers destroyed an entire village of Pueblo men, women, and children, enslaved the remaining several hundred villagers, while cutting off the right foot of men twenty-five and older; thus explaining the vandals choice of removing the right foot of Onate’s statue. Onate was a colonial explorer from Spain who set conquest of the Rio Grande River to an area where present day New Mexico lies. After his requisition of the land we know as present day New Mexico, he and his army came across the natives of that land who were said to be the Pueblo Indians. Onate became the new leader of these people and tensions began to arise because of the indigenous people felt he was abusing his power. As the Acoma people began to resist, a war soon broke out between the Spaniards and Acoma people. "We took the liberty of removing Onate's right foot on behalf of our brothers and sister of Acoma Pueblo... We see no glory in celebrating Onate's fourth centennial, and we do not want our faces rubbed in it." Others saw the vandalism as an act of redemption as unwarranted because the events of the massacre happened so many years prior, but to the people of Acoma descent the massacre continues to remain a sensitive issue in the United States. "It was funny when it happened to the statue, but it wasn't funny when it happened to the real people," stated and Acoma resident. “Give me a break – it was 400 years ago. It's okay to hold a grudge, but for 400...
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