The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and Hopi Participation

Published on August 30, 2013 by Amy

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The Pueblo Revolt of 1680
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680

All Pueblo villages of the Southwest, including the Hopi villages, organized a revolt in August 1680, in response to the harsh colonization of these indigenous peoples by the Spanish.

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In the late spring of 1680, messengers assembled at Red Willow (Taos Pueblo) in what is today northern New Mexico. Speaking to them was a middle-aged man born in the nearby village of Grinding Stone (San Juan Pueblo). Spaniards would record him only as Popé, and revile him as “a magician,” the devil incarnate. His native name, Po’pay, possibly meant “ripe squash,” which could identify him as a religious leader of his village’s summer moiety with him were probably other Pueblo Indian leaders, Luis Tupatu of Picuris, Antonio Malacate of Tesuque, and his host, El Saca of Taos. They were conspiring to overthrow Spanish rule in the southwest.

Deerskins with pictographs were handed to the runners. Po’pay told them that the uprising would come upon the new August moon, with the ripening of corn. The runners were rehearsed in the plan behind the pictographs. They were to forewarn all the seventy-odd Pueblos the Spanish had been persecuting for nearly a century, even to the Hopi villages over 300 miles away.

The revolt was successful, causing the Spanish to retreat back to their colonies of New Spain (now Mexico). However, by 1692, because of increasing raids from outlying tribes of Native Americans and the fragmentation of Pueblo tribes brought about by the Spanish colonization, nearly all the Pueblos were forced to allow the Spanish access to their territory in return for protection the Spanish would bring.

Although the Spanish were successful in re-conquering the pueblos of present-day New Mexico, they were never again able to firmly reestablish a foothold among the Hopi.

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