On this date… August 10, 1680… New Mexico

After eighty years of living like serfs under Spanish domination, the Pueblo revolted.  Across a broad territory, they rose up on a single day, killed hundreds of Spanish priests and leaders, and sent the remaining two-thousand fleeing down the Rio Grande to today’s Ciudad Juarez.

Spanish sympathizers were killed immediately.  Churches were burned.  Kachina dances were revived.  And, most significantly, all that they harvested, whether it was maize or beans or cotton or squash or watermelons or cantaloupes, was theirs.

New Mexico was swept clean of Europeans for most of the next twelve years.  It was probably the largest indigenous revolt, in terms of duration, geographic scope, and degree of societal transformation, in the history of North America. Image

Hopi mural of the Pueblo Revolt 

A Tiwa man explained it the Spaniards:  “For a long time, because the Spaniards punished sorcerers and idolaters, the nations of the Tewas, Taos, Picurís, Pecos, and Jémez had been plotting to rebel and kill the Spaniards and the religious, and that they had been planning constantly to carry it out, down to the present occasion….  He declared that the resentment which all the Indians have in their hearts has been so strong… and that he has heard this resentment spoken of since he was of an age to understand.”

Sando, J.S. 1992.  Pueblo Nations.

Kessell, J.L. 1979.  Kiva, Cross, and Crown.




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