The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

While Mexico declared its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810, it did not actually obtain its independence until September 27, 1821. In the Plan de Iguala, Mexico did away with all legal distinctions regarding Indians and reaffirmed that Indians were citizens of Mexico on an equal basis with non-Indians. In other words, Mexico, unlike the United States, gave Indians full citizenship and recognized that Indians had rights to their land.

In the newly established country of Mexico, Spanish policies were blamed for Indian poverty and many felt that by erasing racial, caste, and class distinctions that Spain’s legacy of paternalism could be rectified. According to Daniel Tyler, in an article in the New Mexico Historical Review:  “Even the word ‘Indian’ was supposed to be abolished on public and private documents.”  The Catholic Church, however, opposed equality and advocated a return to the colonial mission system. In reality, each state determined for itself how to incorporate Indians into the new nation.

In 1848, the United States ended its war with Mexico with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In this treaty, Mexico gave the United States what is now the Southwest. One newspaper reported: “we take nothing by conquest…Thank God.”

In the treaty, the United States agreed to recognize Indian land holdings, and to allow Indian people to continue their customs and languages. The Mexican negotiators won from the United States multiple promises that Indian land rights would continue as they had been under Mexican law. Van Hastings Garner, in an article in The Indian Historian, writes:  “A major concern of the Mexicans was that if the United States were allowed to follow her normal pattern of dispossessing Indians, northern Mexico would be inundated by a flood of refugees.”  Garner also writes:  “In essence, the United States had agreed by international treaty to continue the Mexican system of white-Indian relations throughout the Southwest, a system that was incompatible with the expansion of the United States, for it protected the property rights of the indigenous inhabitants.”

Navajo historian Jennifer Denetdale, in an article in the New Mexico Historical Review, writes:  “Ironically, the American rationale for claiming these lands was to bring peace and stability to the region, but the United State only escalated the cycles of violence among Navajos, other Native peoples, and New Mexicans.”

As with many of its treaties, the United States tended to ignore any provisions which might be inconvenient. American Indian policy at this time was focused on removing Indians from their lands and confining them to reservations on lands considered to be unsuitable for agricultural and mineral development.

 With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States acquired what would become New Mexico and Arizona. Included in this territory were the Pueblo Indians who were agricultural peoples who lived in permanent villages. The Pueblos did not fit the established American stereotypes about Indians. In Santa Ana: The People, the Pueblo, and the History of Tamaya Laura Bayer writes:  “They had preserved their own ancient governments, traditions, and religions after three hundred years of contact with European civilization, and they clearly indicated their intention to continue to do so.”

The Pueblos were clearly sovereign entities who had developed the land. American Indian policies did not seem to fit the Pueblo situations. Under Mexican law, Pueblo Indians had been citizens, but under American law their lost their citizenship rights. Some people argued that the Pueblos should be given citizenship, while others felt that they should be considered to be corporate entities under territorial law. It was not clear legally if they should be considered to be “Indians” or not.

In 1850, James S. Calhoun, the first Indian agent in New Mexico, negotiated a treaty between the United States and the Pueblos of Santa Clara, Tesuque, Nambe, Santo Domingo, Jemez, San Felipe, Cochiti, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, and Zia. The treaty states that the boundaries of each Pueblo  “shall never be diminished, but may be enlarged whenever the Government of the United States shall deem it advisable.”  In addition, the treaty states that the Pueblos shall be governed by their own laws and customs. On the surface, the treaty seem to be in accord with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, but the treaty was never ratified by the United States Senate.

Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States also acquired California, an area which had been densely populated prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Under the Spanish mission system Indian population had declined.

In 1850, Congress authorized the President to appoint negotiators to make treaties with the California Indians. Van Hastings Garner reports:  “These treaties were to set up reservations for Indians into which they could retreat from the encroachment of white settlers.  The price for this security, however, was the surrender of all claims to land not included in the reservations.”  In other words, the Indians were to give up all of the rights which had been reserved to them in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico.

In 1851, the United States formally negotiated 18 treaties with Indian nations which secured legal title to public land and which guaranteed reserved lands for Indians. The treaties were signed by about 400 Indian chiefs and leaders representing 150 tribes (about half the tribes in California). The Indian commissioners explained to the non-Indian residents of the state that the government had two options: to exterminate the Indians or to “domesticate” them. They argued that “domesticating” them was more practical.

None of the commissioners who arranged the California treaties knew anything about California Indians. According to anthropologist Robert Heizer, in the Handbook of North American Indians:  “Their procedure was to travel about until they could collect enough natives, meet with them, and effect the treaty explanation and signing. One wonders how clearly many Indians understood what the whole matter was about.”

Non-Indians in California fiercely opposed the ratification of the treaties. While these treaties were signed by both Indian and U.S. government leaders, they were not debated in Congress, thus did not appear in the Congressional Record, and stayed hidden for more than 50 years. The ratification of the treaties was opposed by the California legislature and Annette Jaimes, in a chapter in Critical Issues in Native North America, reports  “it is rumored that state representatives even succeeded in having the treaties hidden in the archives of the Government Room in Washington, D.C.”

In spite of the assurances given to Mexico by the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ensuing legislation deprived California Indians of the rights to their land. The impact on the Indians was immense: many lost their homes, and were persecuted and hunted by non-Indians. During the next 50 years, California Indian population decreased by 80%. In the Handbook of North American Indians, anthropologist Omer Stewart writes:  “The failure to ratify the treaties left the federal government without explicit legal obligation toward the Indians of California.”

In 1851, a number of California Indians were living on land grants issued to them by Spain and Mexico. As non-Indian greed turned to dispossessing these Indians of their lands, Congress passed a law to establish a commission to determine the validity of these land grants. While on the surface it looked like the commission should confirm Indian land rights under these grants, it actually served to do the opposite. Van Hastings Garner explains it this way:  “The law stipulated that no matter how secure the title to the land was, if the grant holder failed to appear before the commission, the grant would revert to public domain. This provision took away the rights of most Indian grant holders, few of whom were told of the commission’s existence, let alone that they had to appear before it.”  In addition, the Indians had to travel to San Francisco to appear before the commission. Only six Indian claims were confirmed.

The American Indian experiences in New Mexico and California with American government promises made to Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo suggest that treaty promises are not held in high regard by the United States.

Death in Pueblo and Athabascan Cultures

Funerary practices and beliefs about death are more about the living than the dead. They provide some insights into the cultures of the people. The several Pueblo cultures and the Athabascan cultures (Navajo and Apache) live in close proximity to one another in New Mexico and Arizona. These cultures, in spite of their geographic proximity, have very different beliefs about death and how to deal with dead bodies. Some of their funerary customs and beliefs are discussed below.  

Athabascan Culture:

The Athabascan-speaking people – the Navajo and the Apache – migrated from the area north of Edmonton, Alberta.

In the late 1300’s and early 1400’s groups of hunting and gathering Athabascans began arriving in the Southwest from the far north in Canada. These were the ancestors of the Navajo and Apache peoples. While there are some scholars who feel that the Navajo and Apache could have begun arriving in the Southwest as early as 800 CE and some who feel that it was as late at 1500 CE, most tend to place their arrival between 1200 and 1400.

When the Spanish entered New Mexico, they recorded that the Tewa referred to one of the neighboring tribes as Navahú, in reference to large areas of cultivated lands. This is in reference to the Navajo practice of dry-farming in arroyos, and cañadas (canyons). The Tewa also referred to these newcomers as Apachü which means strangers and enemies. The Spanish would later refer to these people as Apache de Navajó meaning the Apaches with the great planted fields.

Among the southwestern Athabascan groups there is a fear of death and of dealing with both the bodies and the possessions of dead people. Among the Jicarilla Apache, for example, there is a great effort to keep children from seeing a dead person. In addition, children do not associate with other children who have family members who have recently died until the family has been cleansed by the proper ceremonies. There is a concern that children may be marked by the aura of death.

With regard to the Chiricahua Apache, at death the spirits begin a four-day journey to the spirit world. For the Chiricahua,  open burial sites are very dangerous between the moment of death and the time when the grave is covered. During this time the spirit of the deceased is loose and free. It is thus able to cause mischief or harm.  Funeral rites are expected to expedite the spirit’s journey.

Traditionally among the Navajo, the body of a dead person was left on the ground in the hogan (home) which was then abandoned or the body was immediately buried. The body was allowed to decompose because the memory, thoughts, and descendents are the part which lives on. The idea of putting someone in a coffin or putting chemicals in the body to preserve the corpse is viewed with disgust by traditional Navajo.

At death, the personal property of a Navajo is buried with the corpse or it is destroyed. Traditionally, the name of the deceased is not mentioned for one year following death. After this year, the name of the deceased is rarely mentioned.

When a Navajo who has lived a full and long life dies, there is no period of mourning as it is felt that the spirit is ready to travel to another world. There is no dread of touching or handling the corpse of an old person.

With regard to life after death, this is an issue of little concern for most Navajo. They feel that they will find out when they die and in the meantime this is something they have no way of knowing anything about and therefore they should not waste time thinking about it. The Navajo cultural orientation is towards life, toward making this life happier, more harmonious, and more beautiful.

For the Navajo, birth and death are seen as opposites: one cannot exist without the other. Life is a cycle. It reaches its natural conclusion in death at old age. It is renewed in each birth. Death before old age is considered to be both unnatural and tragic. Death before old age prevents the natural completion of the life cycle.

Pueblo Culture:

In northern Arizona and New Mexico there are several Indian nations who traditionally lived in compact villages. The Spanish used the word pueblo which means “town” in referring to these people. The Pueblo people are not a single cultural tradition, but are in fact several distinct cultures. They share some features – farming, housing – and are very different in others.

Among many of the Pueblos, food is placed with the body of the deceased. If the deceased had lived a good life, then little food was left with them as they would need little sustenance in traveling straight to the afterworld. On the other hand, if the deceased had not been particularly virtuous then they would need more food for their difficult journey.

Among the Keresian-speaking Pueblos of the Rio Grande area, death is viewed as a natural and necessary event: if there were no death, then soon there would be no room left in the world. After death, both the soul and the guardian spirit leave the body, but remain in the home of the deceased for four days. Then they journey to Shipap, the entrance to the underworld. The virtue of the deceased then determines the assignment to one of the four underworlds. Those who enter the innermost world become Shiwana (rainmakers) and return to the villages in the form of clouds.

Among the Zuni, the spirit of the dead lingers in the village for four days. During this time the door to the deceased’s home is left open to permit the entry of the spirit. On the morning of the fifth day the spirit goes to Kothluwalawa beneath the water of the Listening Spring. Here the spirit becomes a member of the Uwannami (rainmakers). Members of the Bow Priesthood become lightning makers who bring water from the six great waters of the world. The water is poured through the clouds in the form of rain. The clouds are the masks worn by the Uwannami.

Among the Hopi, a mask of cotton is placed over the face of the dead to represent the cloud mask which the spirit will wear when it returns with the cloud people to bring rain to the village. Four days after burial the spirit leaves the body and begins a journey to the Land of the Dead. They enter the underworld through the sipapu (sacred hole) in the Grand Canyon where they meet the One Horned God who can read a person’s thoughts by looking into the heart. Those who are virtuous follow the Sun Trail to the village of the Cloud People.

In the Hopi burials, clothing, water, and piki (a special bread) is often placed with the corpse. In many cases the Hopi will use a quilt as a burial shroud. The grave is then sealed with rocks.

When a kikmongwi (chief) dies, the staff which has symbolized his authority during his life is buried with him. In addition, his body is painted with symbols for important ritual occasions.

Among the Hopi, the spirits of children who die before they are initiated into a kiva return to their mother’s house to be reborn.

For the Hopi, the ancestors are important to their culture and they strongly feel that the physical remains of the ancestors should be treated with respect. Ancestors maintain a spiritual guardianship over the places where they are buried and they are not to be disturbed by archaeologists.

The Hopi see the clouds which bring water to their villages as ancestors and thus they petition their departed ancestors to return and to bring with them the life-giving rain. In this way, the Hopi view death as a return to the spiritual realm and from this comes more life in the form of rain.

Among most of the Pueblos, life after death is the same as before death: the deceased journey to a town where they join a group with which they were associated in life. Only the Hopi express the idea of punishment after death.

At Cochití, when a person dies, an ear of blue corn with barbs at the point is placed in the corner of the room where the death occurred. This ear of corn represents the soul of the deceased which will linger in the area for a while.

Death in the Piman and Yuman Cultures

Funerary practices and beliefs about death are more about the living than the dead. They provide some insights into the cultures of the people. The Piman (O’odham) and Yuman cultures of the American Southwest have diverse beliefs and burial practices even though they are both located in the desert regions of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. In both of these cultural groups, cremation was a common way of disposing of the dead. Some of their funerary customs and beliefs are discussed below.

Yuman Culture:

The Yuman culture tradition is in the desert and semi-desert area along the Colorado and Gila Rivers. This area includes parts of Arizona, California, Sonora, and Baja California Norte.

The Yuma-speaking tribes can be divided into four groups:

Delta: the tribes living along the lower Colorado River. These include the Cocopa, Kahwa, and Halyikwamai. During the nineteenth century, the Kahwa and the Halyikwamai, battered by the Quechan-Mohave alliance, merged with the Maricopa.

River: the tribes living along the Colorado River where it forms the border between Arizona and California, plus those living along the Middle Gila River in Arizona. These tribes include the Quechan, Mohave, Yuma, Maricopa, Halchidhoma, and Kavalchadom. During the nineteenth century, the Halchidhoma and Kavalchadom merged with the Maricopa.  

The designation Maricopa as actually an Anglo term: the people refer to themselves as Pipatsje. They originally lived along the Colorado River near present-day Parker, Arizona, but later moved up the Gila River away from the Colorado River.

Upland: the tribes living in Northwest Arizona. These include the Walapai, Havasupai, and Yavapai. The Yavapai were traditionally divided into three groups: Yavepe (also spelled Yavapé; Northeastern Yavapai), Tolkapaya (also spelled Tolkepaya; the Western Yavapai), and Kewevkapaya (also spelled Kwevkepaya; the Southeastern Yavapai.) The Walapai were divided politically into three subtribes: Middle Mountain People in the northwest, Yavapai Fighters in the south, and Plateau People in the east.

California: the tribes living west of the Colorado River include the Diegueño, Kamia, Paipai, and Kiliwa.

Among the Walapai, the dead were traditionally cremated along with their possessions. The souls of the dead departed for the ancestral land of Tudjupa in the west. There was also an annual burning of clothing and food to commemorate the dead. The practice of cremation, however, was stopped by the U.S. Army in the nineteenth century as the United States required Christian burials.

Traditionally, the Havasupai observed very little ceremony regarding the disposal of the dead. The dead were either cremated or placed in caves or rock cairns.

Among the Mohave, the deceased was cremated upon a funeral pyre. Orators would make speeches about the virtues of the deceased and songs would be sung. Articles burned with the deceased would accompany the soul to the land of the dead. After death there was a taboo on mentioning the name of a dead person.

Among the Cocopa, the soul leaves the body at the time of cremation and goes to the spirit land near the mouth of the Colorado River. However, twins go to a different place and are continuously reincarnated. After death the name of the deceased is never mentioned.

Piman Culture:

The Sonoran desert of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico is home to a number of Piman-speaking groups, primarily the Tohono O’odham (Papago) and Akimel O’odham (Pima). With regard to archaeology, the Hohokam are considered to be the ancestors of the Piman peoples.

The Pima were the village agriculturists of central and southern Arizona. The Pima call themselves O’odham which means “we, the people”. They are divided into four basic groups: (1) River Pima in Central Arizona (Akimel O’odham); (2) Tohono O’odham (also known as Papago) in southern Arizona and northern Sonora; (3) Pima Bajo in Mexico; and (4) the Sobaipuri. The Sobaipuri were driven out by Apache and Spanish and intermin-gled with the other Pima groups. Traditionally they occupied the San Pedro River valley from Fairbank, Arizona, north to the Gila River junction, and the Santa Cruz River valley north to Picacho.

The dead were buried in a rock crevice and covered with stones or in a stone cairn roofed with logs. To accompany the spirit on its four day journey to the Underworld in the east, food and possessions were also interred with the body. A short speech by a relative usually accompanied burial. In this speech, the deceased would be asked not to return.

Among the Tohono O’odham, warriors killed in battle were cremated by scalp takers.  

Among the Akimel O’odham the custom was to destroy a house where death had occurred and to build a new house a few meters away.

The Hohokam cremated their dead. Along with the body, pottery, palettes for preparing body and face paints, and ornaments were also burned.

Franciscans in the American Southwest

( – promoted by navajo)

During the early sixteenth century there were many fantastic stories circulating among the Spanish which told of fabulously wealthy cities north of Mexico. These cities, according to the stories, had more gold than the Aztecs or the Inkas, and they were ripe for conquest by the superior Spanish warriors. In 1539, Fray Marcos de Niza, a Franciscan missionary adept in native languages, received permission from the Spanish Crown to explore what is now the American southwest and to determine if the fabled riches actually existed. Before embarking on his journey,   Spanish Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza told Fray Marcos de Niza that

“you must explain to the natives of the land that there is only one god in heaven, and the emperor on earth to rule and govern it, whose subjects they must all become and whom they must serve.”

The rumors about fabulous cities of gold came from several sources. Sometimes it was the Indians who spun these tall tales, perhaps to deflect Spanish interest in enslaving their own people. Sometimes the tales came from other explorers who returned with tall tales about what they had seen. One of these earlier explorers was Cabeza de Vaca who reported that he had heard many stories of wealthy American Indian cities. Among those who accompanied Fray Marcos de Niza was Esteván, the black slave who had been with the Cabeza de Vaca expedition a decade earlier.

Near the present-day city of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, the expedition encountered some Pima Bajo who gave them a warm reception and much food. They told the Franciscan of a valley with many large settlements where the people wore cotton (probably the Pima and Opata). In reference to their mica pendants and their pottery made from mica-bearing clay, Fray Marcos thought that the Indians were telling him about people to the north who had pendants and vessels made of gold and silver. Many of the stories told to the Spanish probably contained grains of truth. However, by this time the Indians, especially those of northern Mexico, had learned to tell the Spanish invaders whatever they wanted to hear.

After hearing the stories about what he felt described the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola Fray Marcos sent Esteván with an advance party to investigate this possibility. They followed a well-established trading route that connected northern Mexico with the American Southwest. Esteván reached as far north as Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, where he was killed.

While at a Pima village on the Rio Magdalena in Sonora, Mexico, Fray Marcos was told about three other kingdoms: Marata, Acus, and Totonteac. The Pima went to these three kingdoms and to Cibola to trade for turquoise, buffalo hides, and other things. Fray Marcos continued his journey north, into Arizona, encountering many settlements. Along the Salt River, he noted that there were villages every half or quarter league. The irrigated fields reminded him of gardens. He continued to hear stories about Cibola and about Marata. He was told that Marata had been reduced because of warfare with Cibola, but still remained independent. The kingdom of Totoneac (probably the Hohokam) was described to him as the largest of the kingdoms and that its people wore clothing of wool which was obtained from wild sheep.

As Fray Marcos continued his journey toward Cibola, he noted that he was traveling on a wide and well-used road that was lined with many shacks used by the people who journeyed to Cibola. Outside of Zuni, he was told that Esteván had been killed. His Indian escorts refused to travel farther, and so Fray Marcos turned back. Before leaving, however, he took possession of Cibola for the Spanish king by erecting a pile of stones with a small cross on top. While Fray Marcos never reached Zuni, he still described it as being bigger than Mexico City. The stories that Fray Marcos brought back inspired more Spanish interest in the Southwest and resulted in other expeditions seeking the fabled gold cities.  

The Pueblo Revolt

Seventeenth century life under Spanish rule was not pleasant for the Pueblos in New Mexico. The Franciscans attempted to brutally suppress all vestiges of Native American religion: they burned religious paraphernalia, they whipped religious leaders, and they destroyed the kivas (underground ceremonial chambers). In 1680, the Pueblo spiritual leader Popé led a revolt against the Spanish. By coordinating and uniting several Pueblos, the Indians defeated the Spanish and drove them out of the area.  

Popé, a charismatic spiritual leader who had been whipped and humiliated by the Spanish, was a brilliant organizer. He brought together the war chiefs from diverse Pueblos and directed them in a coordinated action against the Spanish. The principal war chiefs who acted with Popé were El Jaca of Taos, Don Luis Tupatú of Picurís, Alonso Catiti of Santo Domingo, Luis Cuniju of Jemez, Antonio Bolsas the spokesperson for the Tanos Pueblos, Cristóbal Yope of San Lázaro, and Keres leader Altonio Malacate.

Following Popé’s instructions, the Indians first captured the Spanish horses and mules, thus making it impossible for the Spanish to communicate rapidly with one another. The revolt was also timed to precede the arrival of the caravan which brought supplies to the Spanish settlers from Mexico. At this time, the Spanish would be low on weapons and ammunition.

In their rage against Spanish Catholicism, the Pueblos killed the Franciscan friars, mutilated their bodies, and destroyed the churches. Of the 33 Franciscan friars in the territory, 21 were killed in the revolt. In addition, some 400 Spanish soldiers and colonists were killed. Most of the colonists, however, were given an opportunity to flee as the primary purpose of the Pueblo Revolt was to destroy the mission system.  The revolt was the act of a people determined to reject Christian civilization because it posed a direct threat to their integrated religion and culture. The Pueblos were not cultures which venerated war: they did not fight for war honors, but to repel the Spanish. They could have slaughtered all of the Spanish colonists, but they preferred a Spanish exodus.

Pueblo rage was focused on the Franciscans, not on the Spanish colonists. While the Franciscans had upset the Pueblos by their destruction of sacred objects, they would later ponder the causes of the Pueblo Revolt and conclude that the only thing they were guilty of was selfless love for the Indians.

Following the revolt, the Pueblos began to re-learn their traditions, which had been suppressed under the Spanish. There were, however, some changes. For centuries, Pueblo governments had been based upon a tradition of government by consent. Popé, however, began acting more like a European warlord than a traditional Pueblo leader.

Mission churches were torn down and the kivas (underground ceremonial chambers which had been filled in by the Spanish) were dug out once again. Popé forbade the use of the Spanish language and Spanish baptismal names and destroyed objects associated with Spanish Christian culture.  Popé declared that the Christian god had been made of rotten wood and was dead at last. All vestiges, all reminders of it had to be obliterated. To remove the taint of Christian baptism, a ritual washing with yucca-root was prescribed.

Among the Hopi in Arizona, the kivas were rebuilt using materials from the destroyed churches. The Hopi also began to use church bells in some of their ceremonies. The Hopis thus employed their own form of ‘superposition’ to reestablish their own religion’s predominance.

With the Pueblo revolt, Indians acquired their own horses. The Pueblos traded some of the horses with other tribes and the use of the horse began to spread north, leading to a new way of life for the Indians on the Great Plains.  

Following the Pueblo Revolt, a number of Pueblos became concerned about possible Spanish retaliation. Following earlier revolts, such as the 1649 revolt by the Jemez, the Spanish had brutally retaliated against the Indians. Thus, fearing Spanish reprisals, the pueblo of Sandia in New Mexico was abandoned and the people established the pueblo of Payupki near the Hopi village of Mishongnovi in Arizona. In Arizona, the Hopi village of Walpi, fearing Spanish reprisals from the Pueblo Revolt, moved from a lower terrace to a more defensive position on top of First Mesa.

Not all of the Pueblos joined in the revolt. The Tiwa-speaking pueblo of Isleta did not join the Pueblo Revolt and they allowed 1,500 Spanish settlers to take refuge in the pueblo before fleeing south into Chihuahua.

The first Spanish attempt to re-conquer the Pueblos came in 1681. With a force of 146 soldiers, they invaded Pueblo territory. At Isleta they found a thriving community with the church in ruins. The villagers told the Spanish that they did not want any visitors. The Spanish, however, were not deterred and forced their way into the pueblo. Here the pueblo leaders approached their guests peacefully. The Spanish response to the peaceful greeting was first to baptize the babies born during the past year. They then destroyed the masks, ceremonial clothing, prayer sticks, and kachina dolls by throwing them into a flaming pyre. The Spanish then sent messengers upriver to the northern villages with promises of pardon and demands for submission.

A Spanish force of about 70 soldiers under the command of Captain Mendoza then traveled north. They encountered about a dozen empty pueblos. They destroyed all ceremonial items and set fire to the villagers’ stores of winter food. At Santo Domingo, the Spanish were confronted by a band of Pueblo warriors. After some initial skirmishes, the two groups held council. Speaking for the Pueblos was Catiti, Popé’s assistant. Catiti promised to bring in the other villagers in a few days. The Spanish settled down in the nearby village of Cochiti. Here they discovered that Catiti’s promise was really a delaying tactic to give the warriors from the northern villages time to assemble. The Spanish hastily retreated south to warn the main body of Spanish soldiers.

The Spanish found that most of the people in Isleta had left the pueblo to join the northern warriors and so they burned the village, killed 385 people, and returned to El Paso.

In 1687, the Spanish attacked Santa Ana Pueblo and burned it. The survivors united with people from Zia Pueblo and established a village on Red Mesa.

In 1688, Popé, the spiritual leader from San Juan who masterminded the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, died. Tupatu assumed Pueblo leadership.

In 1688, the Spanish made a foray into Pueblo country to find out who led the 1680 revolt. The Spaniards failed to find out the names of the leaders, but they burned a number of Pueblo villages and carried out a policy of killing and plundering.

The successful Spanish re-conquest of the Pueblos began in 1689 with the capture of Zia. After a daylong attack, the Spanish overran the fortified Pueblo, sacked it, and burned it. Over 600 Indians were killed and 70 were taken captive. Among those captured was Bartolomé de Ojeda, a Pueblo war captain who had been educated by the Franciscans.

The wounded Ojeda was carried back to El Paso where he gave valuable testimony about the Pueblos. He then joined in the Spanish re-conquest as a leader of the Indian auxiliaries and an interpreter for the Spanish.

In 1691, Pueblo representatives from Jemez, Zia, Santa Ana, San Felipe, and Pecos asked the Spanish to return. This request was made in response to increased plundering by the Apache and Navajo who were now on horseback. Before the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, the Spanish with their guns and horses had deterred these raids.

The Spanish re-conquest of the Pueblos was completed in 1692 with the recapture of Santa Fe. The Spanish return caused more uprising among the Pueblos. However, the unity of the 1680 revolt was now gone and some of the Pueblos cooperated with the Spanish and some resisted them. The Spanish managed their re-conquest without losing a single man. In the end it was not Spanish military might against the Pueblos that led to the re-conquest, but rather the constant attacks by the Apache and Navajo which resulted in the Pueblo decisions to ask for Spanish help against these attackers.