Zuñi Rebellion (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: A century after the first Spanish inroads into New Mexico, Puebloan peoples resist.
Zuñi Indian contact with Spanish explorers began in violence. The Zuñi lived in six pueblos widely scattered across what is now western New Mexico. They occupied communities of apartment houses built on the sides or tops of mesas. They had no central government, and each pueblo spoke a distinct language.
Spaniards first entered this territory in 1539. They came north from Mexico, hunting for great cities of gold reported to be in the area. The legend of the Seven Cities of Gold, called Cíbola, had spread through Spanish possessions in the New World three years earlier, when Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca—a sailor who had spent eight years wandering through Texas and the Southwest after a shipwreck on the Gulf coast—brought to Mexico City the story he had been told by native peoples. The governor of New Spain sent an expedition led by a Franciscan priest, Marcos de Niza, and a former slave named Estevanico into the region to verify the story. Estevanico reached a Zuñi pueblo a few days before the priest. By the time Fray Marcos arrived, the Zuñi had killed Estevanico reportedly for taking liberties with Zuñi women....
(The entire section is 1534 words.)
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