The Persistence of Resistance: Resiliency and Survival in the Pueblo World, 1539-1696

Author(s): Matthew Schmader

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Archaeologies of Contact, Colony, and Resistance" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

From the first instance of contact with outsiders, native peoples of the American Southwest have been confronted with, and have confronted, challenges to survival and cultural continuity. The earliest organized exploration of the Southwest by Fray Marcos de Niza in 1539 resulted in an initial act of resistance by Zuni pueblo: the killing of his Moorish guide, Esteban. In 1540, the huge expedition led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado caused wide-spread impacts met by many acts of Puebloan resistance, ultimately ending in bloodshed. A 40-year period of disinterest in Nuevo Mexico ended in the early 1580s with small explorations and attempts at establishing a colony. By the time of Juan de Oñate's 1598 colony, Spanish attitudes and administration shifted from exploration to goals of missionizing native peoples of New Mexico. The 1600s were marked by intense in-fighting between Franciscan missionaries and newly-formed colonial governance. Pueblo peoples were caught up in this dispute and shifting inter-tribal alliances were common. Equally common throughout the 1600s were terrible governorships, famine, drought, disease, and resettlements. In the face of multiple challenges, native groups resorted to various passive and active tactics to ensure long-term survival, up to and including the 1680-1696 Pueblo Revolts.

Cite this Record

The Persistence of Resistance: Resiliency and Survival in the Pueblo World, 1539-1696. Matthew Schmader. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450983)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24149