Indians

THE peaceful aspect of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico at the
present time tells little of their strenuous past. Green fields
and orchards surround their villages, strings of red chili festoon
their adobe houses in autumn, and the sweet odor of burning pinon and
juniper drifts across winter dance courts. The people, courteous and
reserved, sell their pottery to visitors, allow them to attend certain
dance-ceremonials, and watch them depart knowing that they belong to
different races, and, in their own words, "think different thoughts."

Physically the Pueblo Indians belong to the roundheaded Mon-
goloid people who followed the long-headed Basket Makers into the
Southwest. They are generally shorter and stockier than the nomadic
tribes, and their facial expression is more placid; but as a whole the
modern Pueblo Indians are not a homogeneous group. Actually they
represent an aggregation of peoples brought together by intermarriage
and cross strains of acculturation which has developed under environ-
mental influences.

The first contact of the Spanish Conquistadores (1540) with the
inhabitants of the area which is now New Mexico was with the Pueblo
Indians. The land was claimed for the Spanish Crown and the Indians
considered converts of the Catholic faith. Because of Spanish oppres-
sion in 1680 the Pueblos united and revolted, overthrowing the Spanish
government and killing and driving out the alien settlers. In 1692-93
De Vargas reconquered the country and made peace with the Pueblos.
During the first years of the seventeenth century, there came a certain
expansion. The Pueblo villages with their outlying farms and flocks,
secured from the Spaniards, proved tempting prey for the marauding
Navaho, Comanche, Ute, and Apache. These nomadic or scattered
Indians found it convenient, when hunting was poor, to raid the Pueblo
villages whose frugal people kept stores of corn against drought and
times of need. But after the advent of the military garrisons, first
Spanish, then Mexican, and finally those of the United States, the
Pueblo Indians began to enjoy increasing security. Old citadel dwell-
ings on mesa tops were gradually abandoned, and villages in the more
fertile valleys were built; however, many of these still retained, to a
certain degree, the compact, defensive type of structure of ancient times.
The eighteen pueblos in New Mexico today, from Taos to below