A People Apart: Factionalism and Conversion in Pueblo Mission Villages, A.D. 1620–1680
Stack, Adam David
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AbstractThis dissertation investigates how Ancestral Pueblo villages in the U.S. Southwest responded to the imposition of Franciscan missions during the early Spanish colonial era (ca. A.D. 1620–1680). It sets out to investigate how narratives about missionization have been constructed, and to critically examine the ways that two phenomena – factionalism and religious conversion – have been deployed in explaining indigenous social dynamics during this period. It then analyzes evidence for links between mission residents and other Native groups and the landscape to evaluate established narratives about difference and conflict within mission villages.
In order to realize these goals, this study examines obsidian artifacts from the Ancestral Towa village of Pecos Pueblo (LA 625) and the Ancestral Hopi village of Awat’ovi (AZ J:7:1[ASM]), two of the largest pueblos in the Southwest at the time of European arrival. The construction of large Franciscan missions has been linked to the residential division of these sites. Analysis of obsidian artifacts using portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (pXRF) was conducted to investigate whether and how these spatial divisions relate to social conflict and differentiation. Patterns of obsidian procurement and exchange point towards relationships with the landscape and with other indigenous groups that could be impacted by factionalism and conversion.
The results suggest that missionization contributed to changes in how Pueblo villages interacted with the landscape and with other communities, but that these impacts were unevenly experienced between different mission villages and among groups within villages. Residential groups at Pecos were distinguished by the range of obsidian sources to which they had direct or indirect access, and by the strength of ties to significant places in the landscape. At Awat’ovi, obsidian procurement both increased and diversified over time. It may have helped sustain connections with important ancestral and mythological places, even as these places also became implicated in colonial labor regimes. Obsidian from distant sources may have arrived in conjunction with population movements that arose from the upheaval of colonial rule. This project consequently suggests rethinking how factionalism and conversion shaped indigenous responses to European colonialism in the Americas.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40046493
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