The Pueblo People

Pueblo is the name given to twenty-one different Native American groups. They lived in the southwestern region of the United States in modern-day Arizona and New Mexico.

It was the Spanish explorers and settlers that gave the Pueblo their name. In fact, “Pueblo” means little village or town.

Taos Pueblo

Spanish exploration

In 1539,  the Spanish discovered that there were Native Americans living in the southwest of what is now the United States.  

The Spanish found over 70 towns and took over most of Pueblo land. The Spanish converted the Pueblo to Catholicism.

The Pueblo were supposed to work the lands for the Spanish and the Spanish promised to protect them from outside invasions, mostly from the Apache and the Navaho.

The Arrival Of Christopher Columbus To America

Pueblo Revolt

People were not happy with the way the Spanish rulers were treating them. The Spanish had also captured and arrested two medicine men.

These men were like important religious men.

Early Indians Pueblos

The Spanish though traditional medicine and religions went against the Catholic way of life they wanted the Pueblos to have.

The Pueblo decided to revolt in 1680.

Usa Taos Pueblo Luca Galuzzi

One famous medicine man, called Pope, led the revolt. People found out about the revolt because a piece of knotted rope was passed around villages.

These knots, laid out in a certain way, provided a code for the Pueblo.

Kachina Dolls

8,000 Pueblos united together. They attacked the Spanish and managed to keep out the foreign invaders for 12 years.

However, in 1692, the Spanish came back to win their land. There was a small victory for the Pueblo, however, in that the Spanish were allowed to continue practicing their traditional religions.

The Pueblo Revolt

Cliff towns

The Pueblo built very famous houses that were in the side of cliffs. They were square buildings on different levels, made from stone and clay.

This clay was a special type of clay made from water, earth and straw. Ladders were used to climb up and down from one house to the other.

Cliff Palace

Pueblo towns were built to last. Some Native Americans still live in ancient Pueblo buildings that are 1000 years old.

Cliff Palace Tower
 In between these towns, there are lots of roads that the Pueblo built. These roads connected different towns and water sources. Some roads were built for religious reasons.

Archaeologists think they were built for religious regions because they do not lead to a town or any landmark.

What did the Pueblo eat?

The Ancient Pueblo hunted for meat. The men would hunt deer, small game and turkeys. The Pueblo also farmed corn, beans, sunflower seeds and squash.

Creole Food

Melons and berries and other fruits were also eaten. Their fields were terraced, which means there are grass levels cut into the sides of the cliffs.

What did Pueblo Indians wear?

Chief Antelope Priest

Pueblo men wore breechcloths or skirts. Pueblo women wore cotton dresses, which were called mantas. These would drape over the shoulder and were a-symmetrical, leaving one shoulder bare.

Quiz Time!

What does Pueblo mean?

When did the Spanish arrive?

quiz activity for kids
When did the Pueblo revolt?

Where did Pueblos build their houses?

What did Pueblos eat?

Native Americans

Chief Joseph