Pueblo Indians


Pueblo Indians

people
 North American Indian peoples known for living in compact permanent settlements known as pueblos. Representative of the Southwest Indian culture area, most live in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico.

 Pueblo peoples are thought to be the descendants of the prehistoric Ancestral Pueblo (Ancestral Pueblo culture) (Anasazi) culture. Just as there was considerable regional diversity among the Ancestral Pueblo, there is similar diversity, both cultural and linguistic, among the Pueblo. Contemporary Puebloans are customarily described as belonging to either the eastern or the western division. The eastern Pueblo villages are in New Mexico along the Rio Grande and comprise groups who speak Tanoan (Azteco-Tanoan languages) and Keresan languages. Tanoan languages such as Tewa are distantly related to Uto-Aztecan (Uto-Aztecan languages), but Keresan has no known affinities. The western Pueblos include the Hopi villages of northern Arizona and the Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna villages, all in western New Mexico. Of the western Pueblos, Acoma and Laguna speak Keresan; the Zuni speak Zuni, a language of Penutian (Penutian languages) affiliation; and the Hopi Pueblos, with one exception, speak Hopi, a Uto-Aztecan language. The exception is the village of Hano, composed of Tewa refugees from the Rio Grande.

      Each of the 70 or more Pueblo villages extant before Spanish colonization was politically autonomous, governed by a council composed of the heads of religious societies. These societies were centred in the kivas, subterranean ceremonial chambers that also functioned as private clubs and lounging rooms for men. Traditionally, Pueblo peoples were farmers, with the types of farming and associated traditions of property ownership varying among the groups. Along the Rio Grande and its tributaries corn (maize) and cotton were cultivated in irrigated fields in river bottoms; among the western Pueblos, especially the Hopi, farming was less reliable because there were few permanent water sources. Traditionally, women did most of the farming, but as hunting has diminished in importance, men have also become responsible for agricultural work. Many of the Rio Grande Pueblos had special hunting societies that hunted deer and antelope in the mountains, and easterly Pueblos such as the Taos and Picuris sometimes sent hunters to the Plains for bison. Among all Pueblos communal rabbit hunts were held, and women gathered wild plants to eat.

      In 1539 a Franciscan friar, Marcos de Niza, claimed the Pueblo region for Spain. Explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado (Coronado, Francisco Vázquez de) followed in 1540, quickly and brutally pacifying all indigenous resistance. In 1680 a Tewa man, Popé, led the Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish. The colonizers retreated from the region for several years but completed a reconquest in 1691. Subsequently, most villages adapted to colonial rule through syncretism, adopting and incorporating those aspects of the dominant culture necessary for survival under its regime, while maintaining the basic fabric of traditional culture. Historical examples of Pueblo syncretism include the addition of sheep and shepherding to the agricultural economy and the adoption of some Christian religious practices.

 Contemporary Pueblo peoples continue to use syncretic strategies; they have adopted a variety of modern convenience products, yet extensively retain their traditional kinship systems, religions, and crafts. Social life centres on the village, which is also the primary political unit. Kinship plays a fundamental role in social and religious life in 21st-century Pueblo communities; it may delimit an individual's potential marriage partners and often determines eligibility for membership in religious societies and a wide variety of social and economic obligations. Kinship is typically reckoned through the lineage, a group that shares a common ancestor; several lineages together form a clan. Early 20th-century kinship studies indicated that some pueblos may have had more than 30 clans at one time, which were often grouped into two larger units, or moieties. The clans of the eastern Pueblos are organized into complementary moieties, known respectively as the Summer people and the Winter people (Tanoans) or as the Turquoise people and the Squash people. These groups alternate responsibility for pueblo activities, and their secret societies deal primarily with curing rituals. In contrast, the western Pueblos are organized into several matrilineal lineages and clans; secret societies, each controlled by a particular clan, perform a calendrical cycle of rituals to ensure rain and tribal welfare. Many Pueblo peoples continue to practice the kachina (katsina) religion, a complex belief system in which hundreds of divine beings act as intermediaries between humans and God.

      Early 21st-century population estimates indicated approximately 75,000 individuals of Pueblo descent.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Pueblo Indians — n. tribes of native American Indians (of Anasazi ancestry) who built towns and now are constricted to New Mexico and Arizona (USA) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Pueblo Clowns — (sometimes called sacred clowns) is a generic term for jester or trickster in the Kachina religion practiced by the Pueblo Indians of southwestern America. There are a number of figures in the ritual practice of the Pueblo people. Each has a… …   Wikipedia

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  • Pueblo Revolt — Infobox Military Conflict caption= 1680 The Pueblo Revolt , by George Chacón, Taos Mural Project conflict=Pueblo Revolt partof=Spanish conquest of the Americas date=10 August 1680 21 August 1680 place=New Mexico result=Decisive Pueblo victory… …   Wikipedia

  • pueblo — /pweb loh/; for 4, 5, also Sp. /pwe blaw/, n., pl. pueblos /pweb lohz/; Sp. /pwe blaws/. 1. a communal structure for multiple dwelling and defensive purposes of certain agricultural Indians of the southwestern U.S.: built of adobe or stone,… …   Universalium

  • Pueblo — /pweb loh/, n. a city in central Colorado. 101,106. * * * I (Spanish: town ) Community of the Pueblo Indians of the southwestern U.S., consisting of multistoried apartment houses constructed of large adobe blocks beginning с AD 1000. Freestanding …   Universalium

  • Pueblo pottery — One of the most highly developed of the Native American arts. Pueblo pots, made only by women of the tribe, are constructed of long sausages of clay that are coiled upward and then smoothed out. Designs include geometric, floral, and animal… …   Universalium

  • Pueblo Rebellion — ▪ history of North America       (1680), carefully organized revolt of Pueblo Indians (in league with Apaches), who succeeded in overthrowing Spanish rule in New Mexico for 12 years. A traditionally peaceful people, the Pueblos had endured much… …   Universalium


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