Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Catherine Cameron

Second Advisor

Scott Ortman

Third Advisor

Arthur Joyce


This thesis examines Puebloan iconography on pottery from the Northern and Middle Rio Grande Valleys from the pre-Contact through the Post-Revolt period to assess the impact of the Spanish on the Pueblo people. The Spanish conquistadors and missionaries created upheaval in the Pueblo people world upon their arrival in the Rio Grande area during the 16th century. The social tensions that resulted forced a blending of ideas and culture between the two groups, demonstrated in the ethnographic records of Pueblo communities. The 1680 Pueblo Revolt and cultural revitalization movement by Puebloan groups sought to return indigenous peoples to their heritage through an emphasis on traditional religious practices and lifeways. There was variability among the Pueblos at this time with their response to the Spanish, as well as during the Pueblo Revolt. Results indicate that Spanish colonization mainly impacted vessel form and caused a decrease in the use overtly religious motifs on pottery, such as anthropomorphic religious figures, including, kachinas and awanyus. These differences are particularly noted in the Contact and Revolt period Middle Rio Grande, as opposed to the Tewa communities in the Northern Rio Grande. No evidence for the adoption of European motifs in my sample was identified. This research is significant because it is some of the only regionally-based exploration of the impacts of Spanish contact and the Pueblo Revolt on ceramic forms and iconography.