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1890 Report on the Pueblos of Laguna, Acoma and Zuñi

By Julian Scott, Special Agent The following report was prepared during September and October 1890, and August and September 1891: Laguna Pueblo Acoma Pueblo Zuñi Pueblo My observation in the 3 pueblos of Laguna, Acoma, and Zuñi is, that the so called control of these people by the United States government makes them expectant, and they hurry to Santa Fe to the United States Indian agent on small matters, Their civilization from an Anglo Saxon standpoint is nominal, still they are more provident than their New Mexican neighbors. These people should at once be dropped by the nation and required to assume the duties of citizenship, to which they are legally entitled. The Indians of Laguna, Acoma, and Zuñi have many intensely interesting traditions. Their religions beliefs are founded upon a theology of their own, which while it is unlike the Christian in most respects it greatly resembles it on the moral side; their superstitions are endless. The Indians of Acoma and Laguna speak the same language as those of the pueblos of Zia, San Domingo, Cochiti, Santa Ana, San Felipe, Taos, and Islets, in New Mexico, and Tema, on the first Mesa, in Arizona. They live by agriculture, and stock raising; besides, they manufacture a large amount of pottery, which they sell to tourists and in the large towns accessible to them and along the Atlantic and Pacific railroad. Their stock consists of horses, cattle, burros, sheep, and goats. They raise corn in their fields. Wheat was once one of their chief products, but it is not now. It is not so reliable as corn, and they are...

Laguna Pueblo

The night of October 17, 1890, found me a lodger in the railroad station at Laguna. The day after my arrival I went to the pueblo, which is but a few minutes walk west of the station, and was introduced to the Principal men of Laguna, who, learning the nature of my visit, received me with every expression of respect. The town is built upon a sandstone ledge, the southern base of which is washed by the San Jose. The streets are narrow and winding, and in some places very steep, requiring stone steps. The houses are constructed of stone and adobe, the walls projecting above their flat roofs from 12 to 15 inches. They are kept neat inside and out, and there is a general air of cleanliness throughout the pueblo, no doubt greatly owing to the natural drainage of the sloping sides of its rock foundation. Except the large court where the dances are held, but few of the buildings are more than 1 story high; about the court they are 2, and sometimes 3. The town, conforming to the irregular surface on which it is built, presents a pleasing picture from nearly every point of view outside its walls. The Catholic mission erected in the earlier days of the Spanish rule, occupies the apex, commanding views of a large part of the town far up and down the valley and far to the south beyond the sand hills, where are the mesas She-nat-sa and Tim-me-yah. Near the Mission, in front and a little below, is the schoolhouse, the walls of which resemble the battlements of a...

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