Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Ortman

Second Advisor

Catherine Cameron

Third Advisor

Arthur Joyce


This thesis provides a new perspective on the 13th century Pueblo migrations between the Northern San Juan region of Southwest Colorado and the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico. My perspective is based on several conceptualizations: of meaning of landscape; how landscapes of memory would have reinforced and reified social-political structures of authority; the role that these systems of authority would have played in affecting Pueblo people living in the Northern San Juan region; and how these systems were likely changed and restructured as a result of the migrations that gave rise to the Tewa Pueblos of today. This thesis takes a look at the role that conceptions of landscape might have played in reinforcing social-political legitimation of privileged members of society and how such systems can be altered or changed depending on the circumstances of the interactions people have with landscape. I argue that in such context we might not expect diagnostic cultural-material traits to manifest themselves in the destination lands , something that Southwest archaeologists have always assumed would exist. I presume the destination lands for these migrants to have been the Pojoaque area.

I look at the archaeology of the Pojoaque area which has one of the longest occupation histories in the Northern Rio Grande region and can be presumed to have been a contact place between migrants and locals. Ethnographically this area is remembered as being the place where Tewa people arrived following their migrations. I presume that this was a place where cultural identity, political systems, and ontologies were actively negotiated and forged between locals and migrants. I conducted research at a site called the ‘Winter Village’, potentially identified in oral history as being part of this larger Tewa migration narrative of “coming together” of peoples. I suggest that the site was part of larger regional processes of Northern Rio Grande stylistic in-situ development which simultaneously rejected old signals of identity from their previous homeland and active selection of new ways of being resulting from processes of negotiation between migrants and local groups. I argue these processes were responsible for the formulation that ultimately resulted in Tewa ethnic identity.