New Mexico

Encyclopedia Article


New Mexico has a long and storied history due to the rich presence of living indigenous traditions that stretch back before European contact; its history of settler colonialism, specifically Spanish, French, and Anglo; and its itinerant border with Mexico. In 1680, the cultural and religious differences between the tribes and the Spanish settlers resulted in the Great Pueblo Revolt of 1680, in which the usually peaceful Native Americans banded together and succeeded in pushing all the Spaniards out of their land. A decade later, the Spanish settlers regained control of the Pueblo peoples and their territory. The territory changed hands several times over the next three centuries as more people of Anglo-European descent moved out west to New Mexico due to the opening of the Santa Fe Trail and later the railroad. To this day, the white inhabitants of the area incorporate various Native and Hispanic and Mexican traditions and cultural elements into their every day lives and special customs, from architectural styles, seasonal and spiritual holidays, and cuisine.

Photo Credit: 

"High desert landscape in New Mexico, July 22, 2011" by Thomas Shahan is licensed under CC BY.