Reconciling History: Fact, Legend And Religion At The Santa Fe Fiesta

Authors: Linda Moon Stumpff

Disciplines: Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Education, History, Law, Media Studies, Native American Studies, Political Science and Public Administration, Theatre

Themes: Cultural Preservation, Education Reform, Intergovernmental Relations, Media, Racism and Prejudice

Tribes: Apache, Navajo, New Mexico Pueblo

An annual Fiesta is held in Santa Fe New Mexico that includes a variety of entertainments and activities.  The “Entrada”  celebrates the return of Don Diego de Vargas after the Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1680 that drove the Spanish out of the territory and back to what is now the Mexican border.  From the Pueblo viewpoint, they fought a revolution for religious freedom and self-determination   From the Spanish viewpoint, the Pueblos had to be subjugated  again for Church and country.  Although these events occurred long ago, the de Vargas’ reconquest came to be celebrated in the modern Fiesta.  The Entrada consists of a religious procession and a dramatization of the reconquest with armored “conquistadors” and supplicant “Indians.” The city and the various groups struggled with what to do after the Pueblo Governors and protestors demanded that it come to an end.  Another battle broke out about the private Fiesta Council’s  practice of sending some of the re-enactment characters to the public schools.

 

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