1 5 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N P S T W Y Z


civilization | part of encyclopedia/culture
Pronounced: \pweb-low\
IPA: /ˈpwɛ blɔ/
Plural: Pueblos

Definition of the Pueblo

The Pueblo (Spanish for “town”) are a people and civilization formed in at least 750 A.D. by Basketmaker hunter-gatherers as they organized into a collection of city-states. Throughout the millennia they have flourished as centers of art, society, trade, narratives, and philosophy. Distinguished by their architectural style which can found in the ancient Pueblo buildings and the modern Pueblo Revival Style, and their mastery of multiple textile arts; such as pottery and baskets with intricately designed geometric imagery, patterns and symbols, as well as silver and turquoise jewelry. They are originators of many of the cultural hallmarks of New Mexico, down to the very namesake of the region as the Spanish explorers referred to the region as Nuevo México (New Mexico) due to the Pueblos’ advanced society similar to the Mexica (Aztecs). They are among the cornerstones of the New Mexican culture alongside Mexican, Neomexicano, Navajo, Comanche, Apache, and American influences.

Within New Mexico they are represented by 19 Pueblo groups; Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, and Zuni.

Examples of the Pueblo

Origin of the Pueblo

The Hopi Pueblo used the term Hisatsinom to describe their ancestors, commonly referred to as the Ancient Puebloans. Their monolithic towns can be found throughout the American Southwest in both inhabited and abandoned forms. Some of the longest continually inhabited Pueblos also account for the longest continuously inhabited places in the United States, including Sky City and Taos Pueblo. Their abandoned Pueblos, such as Chaco Culture and Aztec Ruins, are now encompassed on sites designated by the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties, the National Park Services, and the World Heritage Organization. The scientific community used to refer to the Ancient Pueblo as the Anasazi, from the Navajo word Anaasází, meaning “Ancient Ones” or “Ancient Enemy.” The reason the word Anasazi has two translations is quite complicated but, to put it simply, the Navajo people believe themselves to be relatives to the Pueblo but their differing ways of life led to the distinction.

The modern Pueblo culture in New Mexico has gone through numerous changes over the millennia, resulting in several distinct histories of the Pueblo timeline; Archaic-Basketmaker (7000-1500 BC), Basketmaker (1500 BC – 750 AD), Early Pueblo (750 – 1680 AD), Modern Pueblo (1680 AD – Ongoing).

Alternate names and spellings exist; Pueblo Indians.
First Known Use: 750 A.D. as a people, and called “Pueblo” in the 17th century.