The Pueblo Indians

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The Pueblo Indians are the historic descendants of the Anasazi peoples, also known as the "Basket Makers". The Pueblo people live in several locations in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico in compact, permanent settlements known as pueblos. Pueblo means village or town in Spanish.

The Pueblos were first encountered by the Spanish in 1539, by the Spanish Franciscan missionary Marcos de Niza. A year later the Spanish explorer Francisco Vaasquez de Coronado, searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Ciibola, led an expedition among the Hopi people. When failing to find any treasure, he withdrew. In 1598, the Spanish occupied the Pueblo country, and by 1630 Spanish missions were established in almost every village. A mass Pueblo revolt in 1680 drove the Spanish from the territory. No other indigenous group had succeeded in doing this, and the Pueblo were not re-conquered until 1692. Few of the missions were reestablished, and most of the villages continued their ancient religion. The number of villages at this time was reduced from about 80 to about 30. The Pueblo remained under Spanish, and then Mexican domination until the close of the Mexican War in 1848. This is when the Pueblo came under the United States jurisdiction. Throughout this time, they preserved their traditional culture to an unusually high degree, often adopting superficial religious or governmental changes but maintaining the old ways in secrecy. The western villages, particular, resisted Spanish influence. In the eastern villages, some Spanish elements were assimilated into their own ways of life.

The contemporary Pueblo are divided into eastern and western. The eastern Pueblos include all the New Mexico pueblos along the Rio Grande, while the western Pueblos include the Hopi villages of northern Arizona and the Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna villages, all in western New Mexico. Modern Pueblo social life centers on the village (which is also the political unit),...
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