Raptor Management and Whistle/Flute Production in Pueblo IV New Mexico

Author(s): Jonathan Dombrosky; Emily Jones; Seth Newsome

Year: 2017


The Pueblo IV period (ca. AD 1300–1600) in New Mexico was a time of great societal change, and the religious significance of birds is thought to have flourished during this time period. In particular, whistles and flutes, commonly made from the ulnae of birds of prey, become ubiquitous in the Pueblo IV Middle and Northern Rio Grande. The importance of birds to Puebloan society has been well-documented ethnographically: raptors (primarily eagles) held captive by modern Puebloan groups are sometimes sacrificed, a religiously significant act. However, little has been done to connect Pueblo IV archaeological whistles/flutes with the ethnographically documented practices of capture and sacrifice. Were raptors whose bones were made into whistles and flutes managed in captivity? How exactly does the functional role of captive raptors extend beyond their sacrifice? In this paper we explore these questions through measurement of δ13C and δ15N values of whistles and flutes recovered from Pottery Mound (LA 416) and Sapawe’uinge (LA 306), two sites in the Middle and Northern Rio Grande from the Pueblo IV Period.

Cite this Record

Raptor Management and Whistle/Flute Production in Pueblo IV New Mexico. Jonathan Dombrosky, Emily Jones, Seth Newsome. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430470)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14798