The Pueblo people are a Native American tribe in the Southwestern United States comprising several different language groups and two major cultural/linguistic divisions, one organized by matrilineal kinship systems (Hopi, Keres, Towa and Zuni) and the other having a patrilineal system (non-Towa Tanoan). These determine the clan membership of children, and lines of inheritance and descent. Their traditional economy is based on agriculture and trade. At the time of Spanish encounter in the 16th century, they were living in villages that the Spanish called pueblos, meaning "towns".
Numerous subdivisions of Pueblo peoples have been published in the literature of anthropology. Kirchhoff (1954) published a subdivision of the Pueblo People into two groups based on culture: one includes Hopi, Zuñi, Keres, and Jemez, which share exogamous matrilineal clans as the basis of their kinship system and have multiple kivas. They believe in the emergence of people from the underground as their creation myth, emphasize four or six directions in their culture, beginning in the north; and consider four and seven to be significant ritual numbers. In contrast, the Tanoan-speaking Pueblos (other than Jemez) have endogamous patrilineal clans, and two kivas or two groups of kivas. Their belief system is based in dualism, the creation story recounts the emergence of the people from underwater, and they use five directions beginning in the west. Their ritual numbers are based on multiples of three.
Eggan (1950) in contrast, posed a dichotomy between Eastern and Western Pueblos, based largely on subsistence farming techniques. He noted the differences of the Western or Desert Pueblos of Zuñi and Hopi dry-farmers, compared to the irrigation farmers of the Eastern or River Pueblos. Both groups cultivated mostly maize (corn).
Linguistic differences among the Pueblo point to their diverse ethnic origins. The Hopi language is Uto-Aztecan; Zuñi is a language isolate; and Keresan is a dialect continuum that includes Acoma, Laguna, Santa Ana, Zia, Cochiti, Santo Domingo, and San Felipe. The Tanoan is an areal grouping of three branches consisting of 6 languages: Towa (Jemez), Tewa (Ohkay Owingeh, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Tesuque, Nambe, Pojoaque, and Hano); and the 3 Tiwa languages Taos, Picuris, and Southern Tiwa (Sandia, Isleta).
The Pueblos are believed to be descended from the three major cultures that dominated the region before European contact:
- Mogollon, an area near the Gila Wilderness
- Hohokam, archaeological term for a settlement in the Southwest
- Ancestral Puebloans (or the Anasazi, a term coined by the Navajo, a traditional enemy).
By about 700 to 900 AD, the Pueblo began to abandon ancient pit houses dug in cliffs and to construct rectangular rooms arranged in apartment-like structures. By 1050 AD, they had developed planned villages composed of large terraced buildings, each with many rooms. These apartment-house villages were often constructed on defensive sites- on ledges of massive rock, on flat summits, or on steep-sided mesas, locations that would afford the Anasazi protection from their Northern enemies. The largest of these villages, Pueblo Bonito, in the Chaco Canyon of New Mexico, contained around 700 rooms in five stories and may have housed as many as 1000 persons.
During the colonial period, Spanish missionaries converted many Pueblo people to Catholicism, and missions were established at each pueblo. But the Pueblo tribes have maintained much of their traditional cultures and have created a syncretic Catholicism. In the 21st century, some 35,000 Pueblo Indians live mostly in New Mexico and Arizona along the Rio Grande and Colorado River.
The Tiguex War fought by the Coronado Expedition against several Pueblo tribes was the first named Indian war between Europeans and American tribes. It is detailed in the historical novel Winter of the Metal People.
In 1680 the ancestors of these peoples mounted the Pueblo Revolt and were the first Native American group to successfully revolt against the Spanish; they expelled the Spanish colonists from the area for 12 years. The code for the action was a knotted rope carried from the leaders to each pueblo by a runner; the number of knots signified the number of days to wait before beginning the uprising. It began one day early, August 10, 1680; by August 21, Santa Fe fell to 2,500 Pueblo warriors.
In 1844 Josiah Gregg described the historic Pueblo people in Commerce of the Prairies: or, The journal of a Santa Fé trader, 1831–1839 as follows:
When these regions were first discovered it appears that the inhabitants lived in comfortable houses and cultivated the soil, as they have continued to do up to the present time. Indeed, they are now considered the best horticulturists in the country, furnishing most of the fruits and a large portion of the vegetable supplies that are to be found in the markets. They were until very lately the only people in New Mexico who cultivated the grape. They also maintain at the present time considerable herds of cattle, horses, etc. They are, in short, a remarkably sober and industrious race, conspicuous for morality and honesty, and very little given to quarrelling or dissipation...
Legacy and honors
On September 22, 2005, the statue of Po'pay, (Popé) the leader of the Pueblo Revolt, was unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The statue was the second commissioned by the state of New Mexico for National Statuary Hall; it was the 100th and last to be added to the collection, which represents the Senate. It was created by Cliff Fragua, a Puebloan from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. It is the only statue in the collection created by a Native American.
Pueblo prayer included substances as well as words; one common prayer material was ground-up maize—white cornmeal. Thus a man might bless his son, or some land, or the town by sprinkling a handful of meal as he uttered a blessing. Once, after the 1692 re-conquest, the Spanish were prevented from entering a town when they were met by a handful of men who uttered imprecations and cast a single pinch of a sacred substance.
The Pueblo peoples used ritual prayer sticks which were colorfully decorated with beads, fur, and feathers. These prayer sticks (or talking sticks) were similar to those used by other Native American nations.
By the 13th century, Puebloans used turkey feather blankets for warmth. Cloth and weaving were known to the Puebloans before the conquest. It is not known whether they knew of weaving before or after the Aztecs. Since clothing was expensive, they did not always dress their whole bodies until after the conquest and breechcloths were not uncommon.
Corn was a staple food for the Pueblo people. They were what was called "dry farmers". Because there was limited water in New Mexico, the farmers relied on crops that could survive the conditions. They mainly cultivated many types of corn, beans and squash (often described as the Three Sisters). The women made and used pottery to hold their food and water. (See also: Agriculture in the prehistoric Southwest)
The most highly developed Native communities of the Southwest were large villages or pueblos situated at the top of the mesas, the rocky tablelands typical to the region. In their belief system, the archetypal deities appear as visionary beings who bring blessings and receive love. A vast collection of myths explores the relationships among people and nature, including plants and animals. Spider Grandmother and kachina spirits figure prominently in some myths. Children led the religious ceremonies to create a more pure and holy ritual.
Most of the Pueblos hold annual sacred ceremonies, many of which are now open to the public. One such ceremony is the Pueblo's feast day, held on the day sacred to its Roman Catholic patron saint. (Spanish missionaries assigned particular saints as patrons so that each Pueblo's feast day would coincide with one of their existing traditional ceremonies.) Some Pueblos also have ceremonies around the Christmas and at other times of the year.
The ceremonies usually feature traditional dances that are held outdoors, accompanied by singing and drumming. Non-public ceremonies take place in the kivas. The public observances may also include a Roman Catholic Mass and processions. Traditionally, all outside visitors to a public dance would be offered a meal afterward in a Pueblo home. Because of the large number of tourists in the pueblos since the late 20th century, such meals are now open by personal invitation only.
List of Pueblos
- Acoma Pueblo — Keres language speakers. One of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the US. Access to mesa-top pueblo by guided tour only (available from visitors' center), except on Sept 2nd (feast day). Photography by $10 permit per camera only. Photographing of Acoma people allowed only with individual permission. No photography permitted in Mission San Esteban del Rey or of cemetery. Sketching prohibited. Video recording strictly prohibited. Video devices will be publicly destroyed if used.
- Cochiti Pueblo — Keres speakers.
- Isleta Pueblo — Tiwa language speakers. Established in the 14th century. Both Isleta and Ysleta were of Shoshonean stock. The isleta was originally Shiewhibak 
- Jemez Pueblo — Towa language speakers. Photography and sketching prohibited at pueblo, but welcomed at Red Rocks.
- Kewa Pueblo (Formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) — Keres speakers. Known for turquoise work and the Corn Dance.
- Laguna Pueblo — Keres speakers. Ancestors 3000 BC, established before the 14th century. Church July 4, 1699. Photography and sketching prohibited on the land, but welcomed at San Jose Mission Church.
- Nambe Pueblo — Tewa language speakers. Established in the 14th century. Was an important trading center for the Northern Pueblos. Nambe is the original Tewa name, and means "People of the Round Earth". Feast Day of St. Francis October 4.
- Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo — Tewa speakers. Originally named O'ke Oweenge in Tewa. Headquarters of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council. Home of the Popé, one of the leaders of the August 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Known as San Juan Pueblo until November 2005.
- Picuris Pueblo, Peñasco, New Mexico — Tiwa speakers.
- Pojoaque Pueblo, Santa Fe, New Mexico — Tewa speakers. Re-established in the 1930s.
- Sandia Pueblo, Bernalillo, New Mexico — Tiwa speakers. Originally named Nafiat. Established in the 14th century. On the northern outskirts of Albuquerque.
- San Felipe Pueblo — Keres speakers. 1706. Photography and sketching prohibited at pueblo.
- San Ildefonso Pueblo, between Pojoaque and Los Alamos— Tewa speakers. Originally at Mesa Verde and Bandelier. The valuable black-on-black pottery was made famous here by Maria and Julian Martinez. Photography by $10 permit only. Sketching prohibited at pueblo. Heavily visited destination.
- Santa Ana Pueblo — Keres speakers. Photography and sketching prohibited at pueblo.
- Santa Clara Pueblo, Española, New Mexico — Tewa speakers. 1550. Originally inhabited Puyé Cliff Dwellings on Santa Clara Canyon.The valuable black-on-black pottery was developed here
- Taos Pueblo — Tiwa speakers. World Heritage Site. National Historic Landmark.
- Tesuque Pueblo Santa Fe— Tewa speakers. Originally named Te Tesugeh Oweengeh 1200. National Register of Historic Places. Pueblo closed to public. Camel Rock Casino and Camel Rock Suites as well as the actual Camel Rock are open.
- Zia Pueblo — Keres speakers. New Mexico's state flag uses the Zia symbol.
- Zuni Pueblo — Zuni language speakers. First visited 1540 by Spanish. Mission 1629
- Hopi Tribe Nevada-Kykotsmovi — Hopi language speakers. Area of present villages settled around 700 AD
- Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, El Paso, Texas —originally Tigua (Tiwa) speakers. Also spelled 'Isleta del Sur Pueblo'. This Pueblo was established in 1680 as a result of the Pueblo Revolt. Some 400 members of Isleta, Socorro and neighboring Pueblos were forced or accompanied the Spaniards to El Paso as they fled Northern New Mexico. Three missions (Ysleta, Socorro, and San Elizario) were established on the Camino Real to Santa Fe. The San Elizario mission was administrative (that is, non Puebloan).
- Some of the Piro Puebloans settled in Senecu, and then in Socorro, Texas, adjacent to Ysleta, Texas (which is now within El Paso city limits). When the Rio Grande would flood the valley or change course, these missions would lie variously on the north or south sides of the river. Although Socorro and San Elizario are still separate communities, Ysleta has been annexed into El Paso.
- Texas Band of Yaqui Indians come from the Yaqui or "Yoeme" people the most southern of the Pueblo peoples of the cahitan dialect originate throughout the entire southwestern State of Sonora, Chihuahua, Arizona, California and Texas. The Texas Band are Mountain Yaqui fighters who came to Texas in 1870 fleeing Mexico after killing Mexican Soldiers in the State of Sonora. Many of the remaining families officially formed in 2001 once the conditioning of genocides faded away generations later. The Texas Band are a State Recognized Tribe of Texas under Resolution SR#989 with proof of Yaqui Indian Ancestry authenticated by Historians dating back to Yaqui Territory 1700's.
- Texas Band of Yaqui Indians Easter Observance Dance of the Coyotes.
- San Felipe Pueblo Feast Day: May 1
- Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Feast Day: June 24
- Sandia Pueblo Feast Day: June 13.
- Ysleta / Isleta del Sur Pueblo Feast Day: June 13.
- Cochiti Pueblo Feast Day: July 14
- San Felipe Pueblo Feast Day: July 25
- Santa Ana Pueblo Feast Day: July 26
- Picuris Pueblo Feast Day: August 10
- Jemez Pueblo Feast Day: August 2
- Santo Domingo Pueblo Feast Day: August 4
- Santa Clara Pueblo Feast Day : August 12
- Zia Pueblo Feast Day: August 15
- Acoma Pueblo Feast Day of San Esteban del Rey: September 2
- Laguna Pueblo Feast Day: September 19
- Taos Pueblo Feast Day: September 30
- Nambe Pueblo Feast Day of St. Francis: October 4
November Jemez Pueblo Feast Day: November 12
- Tesuque Pueblo Feast Day of San Diego: November 12
- Pojoaque Pueblo Feast Day: December 12, January 6
- Isleta Pueblo Feast Days
There is a short history of creating pottery among the various Pueblo communities. Mera, in his discussion of the "Rain Bird" motif, a common and popular design element in pueblo pottery states that, "In tracing the ancestry of the "Rain Bird" design it will be necessary to go back to the very beginnings of decorated pottery in the Southwest to a ceramic type which as reckoned by present day archaeologists came into existence some time during the early centuries of the Christian era." 
Bird effigy, pottery, Cochiti Pueblo. Field Museum
Pottery Bowl, Jemez Pueblo, Field Museum, Chicago
Ancestral Hopi bowl, ca. 1300 AD
- Arizona Tewa
- Carol Jean Vigil
- Tanoan languages
- Navajo people
- Pueblo Revolt
- Tewa people
- Keresan languages
- Zuni people
- On June 2, 1924 these peoples were granted US citizenship along with all other Native Americans, if they did not already have it. They were not enfranchised in New Mexico until 1948.
- Paul Kirchhoff, "Gatherers and Farmers in the Greater Southwest: A Problem in Classification", American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 56, No. 4, Southwest Issue (Aug., 1954), pp. 529-550
- Fred Russell Eggan, Social Organization of the Western Pueblos, University of Chicago Press, 1950
- Cordell, Linda S. Ancient Pueblo Peoples. St. Remy Press and Smithsonian Institution, 1994. ISBN 0-89599-038-5.
- Nash, Gary B. Red, White and Black: The Peoples of Early North America Los Angeles 2015. Chapter 1, pg. 4
- Paul Horgan (1954), Great River',' vol. 1, p. 286. Library of Congress card number 54-9867
- Gregg, J. 1844. Commerce of the Prairies. New York: Henry G. Langley, Chpt.14, The Pueblos, p.55
- Paul Horgan, Great River p. 158
- "Turkeys domesticated not once, but twice"
- "Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe by Eanger Irving Couse". Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Isleta Pueblo". Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) VIII
- Mera, H.P., Pueblo Designs: 176 Illustrations of the "Rain Bird, Dover Publications, Inc, 1970, first published by the Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1937 p. 1
- Fletcher, Richard A. (1984). Saint James' Catapult: The Life and Times of Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela. Oxford University Press. (on-line text, ch. 1)
- Florence Hawley Ellis An Outline of Laguna Pueblo History and Social Organization Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Winter, 1959), pp. 325–347
- Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM offers information from the Pueblo people about their history, culture, and visitor etiquette.
- Paul Horgan, Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History. Vol. 1, Indians and Spain. Vol. 2, Mexico and the United States. 2 Vols. in 1, 1038 pages - Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, ISBN 0-8195-6251-3
- Pueblo People, Ancient Traditions Modern Lives, Marica Keegan, Clear Light Publishers, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998, profusely illustrated hardback, ISBN 1-57416-000-1
- Elsie Clews Parsons, Pueblo Indian Religion (2 vols., Chicago, 1939).
- Ryan D, A. L. Kroeber Elsie Clews Parsons American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 45, No. 2, Centenary of the American Ethnological Society (Apr. - Jun., 1943), pp. 244–255
- Parthiv S, ed. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 9, Southwest. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1976.
- Julia M. Keleher and Elsie Ruth Chant (2009). THE PADRE OF ISLETA The Story of Father Anton Docher. Sunstone press Publishing.
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- The SMU-in-Taos Research Publications digital collection contains nine anthropological and archaeological monographs and edited volumes representing the past several decades of research at the SMU-in-Taos (Fort Burgwin) campus near Taos, New Mexico, including Papers on Taos archaeology and Taos archeology