An Iconic Rebellion: Exploring Spanish Impact on Pueblo Iconography

Author(s): Heather Seltzer

Year: 2016


The mission period of the American Southwest during the late 1500s and early 1600s, is defined by the adoption of Spanish Catholicism by the Pueblo people. Missionaries gradually introduced the Pueblo people to Catholicism in order to obliterate and replace the Pueblo peoples’ traditional religion. The result of the Pueblo people resisting the Spanish, created a form of religious syncretism in which Pueblo people were forced to blend Christianity with their traditional religion in order to conserve their religious beliefs. The research goal of this study is to explore changes in iconography from pre-contact to post-contact by examining an assemblage of pottery from that time period in the Rio Grande area. It will look at the iconography of the Pueblo people during the time of Spanish contact to see how religious expression was changed by exploring revitalization efforts by the Pueblo people. The results of this study are presented here with retrospect on what religious motifs are represented and not represented in the pre-contact and post-contact pottery assemblage as compared to other forms of iconography, such as rock art and textiles, to understand the Pueblo people’s religion and the change in religious expression due to the impact of Christianity.

Cite this Record

An Iconic Rebellion: Exploring Spanish Impact on Pueblo Iconography. Heather Seltzer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405137)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;