Online Encyclopedia

PUEBLO INDIANS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 633 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PUEBLO INDIANS, the Spanish name (pueblo= village) for the town-building tribes of American Indians of the Keresan, Shoshonean, Tanoan and Zuiiian stocks, whose representatives are now practically confined to New Mexico and Arizona. Formerly they had a far greater range. They were alike in their sedentary agricultural characteristics, and had not the warlike disposition of the Plains Indians. Their modern history begins. with their discovery in 1539 by Father Marcos de Niza. In the following year they were subdued by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Two years later they made a successful revolt, but in 1586 they had again to submit. In 168o they once more rebelled, but by 1692 they were finally conquered. Their houses are communal, generally but one structure for the whole village. These houses are sometimes built of stone, but oftener of adobe, several storeys high, each storey receding from the one below. The common plan is a hollow square or curved figure, though in some cases the form of a pyramid is followed. A feature of each town is the underground chamber used for tribal ceremonies. Many of the towns are built on high table-lands inaccessible except by steep trails. The Pueblos are a short, sturdy type of American Indians, very active, but mild-mannered and much darker than those of the plains. They are farmers and herdsmen, and are skilful in basket-work, weaving, pottery and carving. They are notable for their highly developed ceremonial customs, and their blankets and earthenware are decorated with religious symbolism.
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