The Politics of Pots: Becoming New Communities in the Historic Northern Rio Grande

Author(s): Valerie Bondura

Year: 2018


In contemporary New Mexico, the tripartite division of presumed "Anglo", "Indian", and "Hispano" ethnic communities is naturalized in scholarship and in everyday life, but projecting this division into the past elides diverse historical realities. Pueblo, Apache, and vecino notions of community and landscape stand in contrast to the American imaginaries that underpin some historical anthropology and archaeology in the Southwest. This paper considers the archaeological interpretation of "trans-ethnic" ceramics in Historic New Mexico, especially micaceous and smudged/polished wares that appear to have been widely produced and used. Drawing on several seasons of archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork in the northern Rio Grande region, this paper argues for a revision of the interpretation of so-called "mixed" peoples in the archaeological record to better reflect the becoming of new political communities whose racialization is understood as a settler product rather than a component of their constitution.

Cite this Record

The Politics of Pots: Becoming New Communities in the Historic Northern Rio Grande. Valerie Bondura. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441802)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 576