Worlds Forever Changed: The Impact of Conflict and Colony in the "New World"

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The first contact between non-native foreign colonizers and indigenous peoples of the "New World" unquestionably resulted in permanent and widespread impacts. These impacts varied widely depending on the structure of existing native social organizations, the make-up and motivation of the colonizing groups, and the type or extent of the contacts. This session will explore the effect of, and activities surrounding, some key examples of first contact in the New World. Case studies drawn from a broad geographic range from the American northeast, southeast, and southwest are offered in comparison to other studies from central America and the Andean region. This session will explore indigenous relations, colonizing strategies, and evidence of conflict and resistance. Independent lines of evidence range from changes in subsistence, architecture, various technologies, inter-societal relations, and settlement systems. This session will examine the ultimate outcomes that various regional contacts had on both the affected indigenous groups and their colonizers. Some studies will describe impacts upon less commonly discussed indigenous groups on the margins of contact areas. In particular, the long-lasting consequences of conflict and colonization resulted in profound cultural reorganization and produced effects that still resonate in present-day societies even after a span of nearly 500 years.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-12 of 12)

  • Documents (12)

  • A’tzi-em and Po-ya-o-na: archaeological and historical insights into the native-Spanish encounter in New Mexico’s Piro province, 1581-1681 (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Bletzer.

    This paper presents an outline of the colonial encounter between the A’tzi-em/Piros and Spaniards during the years 1581-1681. Archaeological evidence of Spanish-induced settlement changes comes from two long-term archaeological projects at the sites of the Piro pueblos of Teypana and Pilabó, Socorro County, New Mexico. Analysis of primary documents provides additional information on such issues as native accommodation and resistance, factionalism, and the ultimate disintegration of the last Piro...

  • The (beginning and) end of the world as we know it: The multiple makings and un-makings of the indigenous past in Huarochirí, Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Zachary Chase.

    Much scholarly understanding of the ancient Andes has been greatly influenced by the unique ca. 1608 Quechua manuscript of Huarochirí, Peru. For many archaeologists and historians the manuscript reveals an indigenous Andean cosmos otherwise hidden or lost. And indeed the text’s manifest leitmotif is the superation of worlds past by worlds present–an historical etiology of its narrators’ place in space and time. Here I present results from the first systematic archaeology in the central area of...

  • The Caxcans of Nueva Galicia, Nahua Warriors of the Northern Mesoamerican Frontier (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Angélica María Medrano.

    When the Spanish entered northwest Mexico in1529 they confronted a bellicose people, the Caxcans, occupying numerous settlements in the southeastern drainages of the Sierra Madre Occidental, los Altos of Jalisco and Zacatecas. The Caxcans—ethnically and culturally related to Nahuatl-speaking groups of Central Mexico, including the Mexica—were one of the northernmost Mesoamerican cultures in sixteenth-century New Spain. Data from recent investigations are presented, clarifying the position of the...

  • Conquistadores, Colonists, and Chiefdoms in Northern La Florida: Artifacts and Architecture at the Berry Site in Western North Carolina (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Rodning. Robin Beck. David Moore.

    From 1566 to 1568, the northern frontier of the Spanish colonial province of La Florida was situated in western North Carolina. Members of the Hernando de Soto expedition traversed the province of "Xuala," in the upper Catawba Valley, in 1540, en route to towns on the other side of the Appalachians, in eastern Tennessee. Expeditions led by Juan Pardo between 1566 and 1568 visited many of the same places and provinces in the Carolinas and eastern Tennessee as the Soto expedition, including...

  • First Contact: Friend or Foe? (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Melissa Murphy.

    Native Andeans’ first contacts with foreigners were not necessarily with the Spanish foreigners themselves, but with the foreign pathogens that were introduced prior to the arrival of the Spaniards through trade networks and early incursions in the northern extent of the Inca Empire. Violent encounters with indigenous peoples followed the Spaniards as they made their way down the northwestern half of the Central Andes, such as the fateful battle in Cajamarca.Yet not all native Andeans perished...

  • The Geopolitics of Conquest: The Mixtón War and the Caxcan Diaspora (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Oster. Michael Elliott.

    The chronicler Tello describes the Caxcans as rústicos mexicanos who accompanied the Mexica on their march south from Aztlan in the 1100s, but to the Spanish, they became known as the gente belicosa, fierce fighters who did not accept the terms of their conquest, and who ultimately led the Mixtón War of 1541-42. The discussion focuses on the results of the Spanish encounters with the Caxcans and the ways in which these interactions informed the military and political strategies pursued by the...

  • In the Shadow of the Moor: An Archaeology of Pueblo Resistance in Colonial New Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matt Liebmann.

    Historians and archaeologists often consider the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 to be the final chapter in the saga of early Spanish colonialism in New Mexico. Borderlands scholars endlessly debate the origins of the uprising, and in recent years their attention has turned toward proximate causes. In this paper I take a longer view, investigating how the events of early Spanish contact and colonialism created conditions ripe for Native insurrection. I pay particular attention to the differential...

  • Ordering Buildings, Building Order: Place Production in a Planned Colonial Town in Highland Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Steven Wernke. Teddy Abel Traslaviña.

    In the 1570s, the Viceroy of Peru Francisco de Toledo instituted one of the largest forced resettlement programs in world history: the Reducción General de Indios (General Resettlement of Indians). Some 1.4 million native Andeans were forcibly resettled into over 1,000 planned colonial reducción ("reduction") towns built on gridded street plans throughout the viceroyalty. Through the media of the built environment, the Reducción was to be a means of generating a new social order from the ground...

  • Pre-Columbian Exchange Systems and the Colonization of Northern New Spain (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only John Pohl.

    Traditionally, the colonization of Spain's northern frontier is studied as a uniquely 16th through 18th century enterprise. This paper will describe how this process of expansionism was informed by existing indigenous trade networks that linked bands, tribes, chiefdoms and states into mutual systems of exchange extending from the mouth of the Colorado river to coastal Oaxaca. In so doing, the role of indigenous peoples of southern Mexico as both settlers and mediators between the Spanish Crown...

  • Seas of Change: Overfishing and Colonial Encounter in the Gulf of Maine (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meghan Howey. Karen Alexander. Courtney Mills. Adreinne Kovach. Beverly Johnson.

    This paper looks at the story of the colonization of New England from the perspective of the Ocean. It was the Ocean, and its marine resources, that first brought Europeans to the Northwest Atlantic and into contact with the region’s indigenous communities in the 16th and 17th centuries. As Europeans expanded their colonial presence on land, they likewise expanded their presence on the sea, increasing commercial fishing in the Northwest Atlantic. During this early colonial period, New England...

  • Symbols of the Spanish Conquest: Early Colonial period figurines from the Basin of Mexico and the Michoacán (2015)

    The Spanish intrusion in Mexico brought indigenous peoples into contact with a Hispanic cultural system, creating a fusion of multiethnic societies each with its own religious, social, and economic values. Our research considers how material culture is formed and transformed through a variety of processes involving structure and practice in specific contexts, which we glean through archaeological collections and documentary records. We focus on the materiality of ceramic figurines made by the...

  • "They Had So Many Stones to Hurl": Evidence of Inter-Indigenous Conflict on the Vázquez de Coronado Expedition, 1540-1542 (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Schmader.

    In 1540, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado led one of the largest expeditions ever assembled by the Spanish crown into the present-day American southwest. The expedition had 375 European men and was supported by a large contingent of at least 1,300 native Méxican soldiers from various ethnic groups. The native Méxican soldiers likely did much of the advance work, hand-to-hand fighting, guarding, and other military detail. The whole expedition was not well-equipped with European military technology...