Choosing Nomadism: On Northern Tiwa Flights to the Southern Plains

Author(s): Severin Fowles

Year: 2017


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 the traffic in human captives—which had surely been present in pre-colonial times at low levels—grew dramatically. There is much more to this tradition of Plains-Pueblo exchange, however. Indigenous testimony, archaeological evidence and colonial documents all point to a persistent history of the movement of social groups, and sometimes of entire societies, back and forth, as formerly Plains nomads became settled Pueblo people and vice versa. This paper looks to the rich case of the Northern Tiwa-speaking pueblos of the northern Rio Grande valley, whose pre-colonial and colonial histories reveal that such interregional movements not only were socially constitutive but also served as vital political strategies.

Cite this Record

Choosing Nomadism: On Northern Tiwa Flights to the Southern Plains. Severin Fowles. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431252)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15813