t Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer sculpture by Craig Dan Goseyun, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
Experience Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico
It was probably the fertile landscape of the Rio Grande valley that attracted Ancestral Puebloan people in the 1100s to this region. Their descendants still live today in pueblo villages and are famous for producing distinctive crafts and pottery. Taos Pueblo is the largest of the pueblos, its fame due both to its adobe architecture and its ceremonial dances performed on feast days.
Upon arrival of the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century, Catholic priests tried to convert the Pueblo people to Christianity. Decades of oppression by Spanish colonials led to Pueblo unrest. In 1680 a Pueblo rebellion succeeded in expelling the Spanish from the Upper Rio Grande, destroying churches and burning many buildings in Santa Fe. However, the colonists returned to take possession of the region 12 years later. By the 1750s the number of Pueblo villages had shrunk by half. New Mexico was firmly under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico gained its independence from Spain. Two years after the start of the Mexican–American War in 1846, New Mexico was ceded to the United States.