Pueblo Movement and the Archaeology of Becoming

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

The concept of movement – pertaining to people but also including weather, moisture, spirits, blessing, and animals – is an essential part of Pueblo identity and history. Movement is also the driving force of every Pueblo’s cosmogony from emergence into this world to finding the ‘middle place.’ The process of becoming Pueblo is not only shaped by histories of people coming together and moving apart, but also by creating unique philosophies tied to social and natural landscapes. Conversely, these philosophies mold the actions of Pueblo people throughout their dynamic histories.

This session explores how diverse modern Pueblo identities, cosmologies, and societies are inherently connected to histories of movement and draws deeply from archaeological, ethnographic, and historic sources. While Southwestern archaeologists have embraced population movement, and in particular migration, in recent years, we seek to also examine how additional types and scales of movement including coalescence, fissioning, feasting, short-term mobility, exchange of goods and ideas, and the effects of Spanish colonization shaped, and were shaped by, Pueblo identities and societies. Case studies are presented from across the American Southwest with an explicit de-emphasis of the distinction between the prehistoric and the historic to facilitate a holistic discussion of Pueblo history.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-14 of 14)

  • Documents (14)

  • Anshe Ky’an’a and Zuni Traditions of Movement (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maren Hopkins. Octavius Seowtewa.

    After the Zuni people emerged into this present world from Ribbon Falls in the Grand Canyon, they set out on a centuries-long journey in search of their spiritual and physical destination, Idiwana. During their travels, the Zuni people split into groups and moved in different directions, forming medicine societies, acquiring song and prayers, and gaining knowledge about the environment that would become the core of their cultural practices into the present. As such, the places of Zuni’s past...

  • An Archaeology of Becoming (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Samuel Duwe. Robert Preucel.

    From the emergence into this world to the settling of the modern villages, the Pueblos view their own history as a dynamic, living process. While key elements of Pueblo identity and worldview have always been with the people, migration experiences and the amalgamation of people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs were essential in shaping the culture and cosmology of each Pueblo group. This process – called ‘becoming’ by Pueblo scholars – is never complete and represents the malleability of the...

  • Choosing Nomadism: On Northern Tiwa Flights to the Southern Plains (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Severin Fowles.

    In Southwest archaeology, we are accustomed to thinking about the relationship between the Southern Plains and the Pueblo region in terms of the movement of objects in a continental economy of mutualistic exchange. Hunters moved buffalo meat and hides west; horticulturalists moved corn, lithics and ceramics east. With the onset of the Spanish colonial project, the movement of objects within the Plains-Pueblo macroeconomy intensified. Guns, knives and horses were added to the flow of goods. And...

  • Getting Accustomed... (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joseph Suina.

    Pueblo Indians have successfully managed social and environmental situations for thousands of years by moving our villages. However, after the Spanish invasion and the Anglo imposition, we were no longer as free to move. We've had to engage foreign ideas at our home villages in some cases very rapidly. Those in the 1950s were unlike anything we had seen in my pueblo. Seventy years' changes in America happened in ten years not giving us much time for careful thought as to what side effects these...

  • Hemish Migration, Movement, and Identity (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul Tosa. T J Ferguson. Matthew Liebmann. John Welch.

    We examine migration, travel, landscape, and place names as key elements of Hemish (Jemez) identity. Language is a key element of Hemish identity, and place names figure prominently in Hemish historical and cultural discourse. The place names that define the footprint of Hemish ancestral territory are associated with the migration that culminated in the occupation of Walatowa and with pilgrimages and land use that take Hemish people back into areas where their ancestors formerly lived. Jemez...

  • Hopi Migration Traditions: A Fulfillment of the Spiritual Covenant (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Leigh Kuwanwisiwma.

    For thousands of years, the Hopi clans have traversed both the South and North American continents. Today, this presence is evidenced by the thousands of Hopi/Puebloan archaeological ruins. As well, esoteric ceremonies of today are ancient ceremonies and reinforce a living connection to our cultural history and religion. This great migration period of Hopi people was in fulfillment of a spiritual covenant between clans and our spiritual deity and guardian called Ma’sawu. Ma’sawu is the...

  • Movement as an Acoma Way of Life: An Archaeology of the Pueblo's Pathways and Impressions (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Damian Garcia. Kurt F. Anschuetz.

    Throughout its history, the Pueblo of Acoma has been a community on the move. Even after having located their promised homeland—Haak'u, the "place prepared"—at the conclusion of a journey that began at Shipap, the "place of emergence," Acoma’s people have continued to move. With Sky City at its center, the people have engaged with their landscape in choreographed seasonal, interannual, and multigenerational movements informed by three tenets of Acoma’s traditional stewardship: Rest, Renew,...

  • Movement Encased in Stone: Revealing Ancestral Jemez Migration through Obsidian Source Provenience (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matt Liebmann.

    Based on the results of collaborative research performed in conjunction with the Pueblo of Jemez, this paper uses a pXRF study of 2222 obsidian artifacts from 29 Ancestral Puebloan villages in northern New Mexico to provide insights into Jemez movement between AD 1175-1700. The results reveal clear evidence of migration between these villages and the Valles Caldera. These movements steadily increased in intensity throughout the pre-Colonial period. This pattern was disrupted by Spanish...

  • Moving Ideas, Staying at Home: Change and Continuity in 18th Century Pueblo Pottery (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Bruce Bernstein.

    Sometimes staying in place requires movement. To stay in their pre-contact villages required that Pueblo people shift loci of cultural practice as well as reorder intellectual and material culture. New styles of pottery, including the adaptation of blackwares, quickly moved from one Rio Grande pueblo to the next. By the close of the 18th century, pottery changed and is adapted in its use for storing, preparing, and serving wheat-based foods such as oven-baked bread. The movement of new pottery...

  • Relational Native Ontology and Tewa Ethnogenesis in the Pueblo of Pojoaque (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Samuel Catanach. Mark R. Agostini.

    This paper recognizes the collaborative potential between American Indian Studies and an emerging landscape archaeology in furthering interdisciplinary studies of the American Southwest. Here the authors call for the continued reinterpretation of ancestral and contemporary Tewa sites by employing Native ontological and decolonized historical approaches to archaeological and ethnographic contexts situated in the backdrop of a larger and active cultural landscape. Such methods offer nuanced...

  • Seeking Strength and Protection: Tewa Mobility during the Pueblo Revolt Period (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joseph Aguilar. Robert Preucel.

    The Pueblo Revolt period (1680-1700) was a time of considerable social unrest and instability for Pueblo Indian people. The return of the Spaniards twelve years after the 1680 revolt required new strategies of resistance. Mobility became a key form of resistance and, the Tewa world in particular, provided a landscape in which pueblo communities could seek the strength and protection to survive. Many families left their home villages and took refuge with their relatives on mesa villages and in...

  • Tewa History and the Archaeology of the Peoples (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Patrick Cruz. Samuel Duwe.

    According to tradition, soon after emergence into this world the Tewa were split into two peoples – the Summer and Winter – and were tasked with finding the "middle place," or the location of their eventual historic villages. The Summer People traveled along the Jemez Mountains practicing agriculture, and the Winter People journeyed along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains eating wild game. On their travels southwards the people stopped twelve times and these are represented as ancient villages....

  • Tewa Place-Based History (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Porter Swentzell.

    Tewa history is the story of places. The narrator emplaces a story within the context of Tewa time by naming the place at which the story takes occurs. By using a Tewa place-based approach to narratives of the past, I demonstrate three important points. First, that history is an ethical act. Tewa history helps reproduce the values of good humanness. Second, that Tewa place-based history reconnects the narratives of the past with people’s relationship with land and linked responsibilities. As...

  • To and From Hopi: Negotiating Identity through Migration, Coalescence, and Closure at the Homol'ovi Settlement Cluster (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Samantha Fladd. Claire Barker. E. Charles Adams. Dwight Honyouti.

    The Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster (HSC) holds a significant place in Hopi history as a source of immigrants and a destination for emigrants. In addition to representing an important location along the migration route for groups from the South and East, these villages also housed people who temporarily emigrated from the Hopi mesas. As such, the HSC provides a unique perspective on the processes of population and social movement that contributed to the current form of Hopi society. Using the...