A Chicana Archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande, New Mexico

Author(s): Valerie E. Bondura

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Gender Revolutions: Disrupting Heteronormative Practices and Epistemologies" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

This paper draws on theory from radical feminist Chicana philosophers, especially

Gloria Anzaldúa, to interpret historical archaeological evidence of Chicana lives in the

18th-20th century Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico. I use pottery analysis,

ethnoarchaeological research, ethnographic research, and archival data to develop a

framework for interpreting evidence of shared practices from land grant communities and

surrounding Indigenous nations. By considering the nepantla heritage-- here signifying an

unresolveable ambiguity at the heart of Chicana identity that is akin to Joan Gero’s notion of

ambiguity in feminist archaeology-- of land grant and Pueblo communities, the paper

outlines the role of Chicana women as producers, agents, mediators, and power-holders in

Late Colonial New Mexico. It further considers those structures, especially religion and

settler colonialism, that have obscured Chicana heritage, illustrated through an example of

how male community members have become the most frequent heritage interlocutors for

archaeologists today.

Cite this Record

A Chicana Archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande, New Mexico. Valerie E. Bondura. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456995)


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): 335