The physiographic Southwest houses cultural traits that give it a unique regional identity. Several very distinctive and conspicuous ethnological features dominate the region. Evidence of prehistoric Amerindians, in particular the "sedentary" people who established "permanent" homes and who enjoyed a high level of prehistoric social organization and food-obtaining technology, are unique to this area. These people developed advanced architectural styles as well as highly refined craftsmanship in pottery, fabrics, basketry, and jewelry. No place else within the United States contains such impressive remnants of prehistoric culture.
In the Southwest can be found the United States' largest number of contemporary Native Americans. Many of these people still live on "reservations" in their traditional pueblos, hogans and wickiups. Moreover, a certain set of well-documented nineteenth- and twentieth-century American Indian linguistic patterns are unique to the region, too. In other words, the physiographic Southwest features a distinct, substantial, and highly visible American Indian population, both prehistoric and contemporary.
No other region within the United States possesses such an old and conspicuous vestige of sixteenth- to nineteenth-century Spanish empire influence than does the Southwest. Dating back to 1539, the impact of Hispanic occupation can be seen throughout the region, particularly in the upper Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. As part of the area's cultural landscape, a growing Hispano-Mexican population and social presence continues to become increasingly potent and visible.

Prehistoric Indiqenes

Culturally speaking, in many ways the Southwest has been a contradiction. Although the region possesses physical traits which appear inhospitable, even repulsive, to hominid habitation and subsistence, it contains some of the oldest records of human occupation on this planet. Relics of material culture hint that humans may have existed within the physiographic and climatic Southwest for more than twenty-five thousand years. For most of this period, these people lived in caves and hunted animals, many species of which no longer exist. Over ten thousand years ago there were already distinct groups of people in the Southwest, some of whom were primarily hunters and others of whom were largely dependent on wild plants for food. Displaying sparse but convincing evidence, archaeologists have identified several very old sites of human habitation within the Southwest. Archaeologists refer to these particular groups of people, who lived in this region prior to about two thousand years ago, as 'Ancient Cultures" or the "Archaic Period" (see map 13). Several of the more celebrated of these cultural sites, such as the renowned Folsom and Clovis cultures, both in New Mexico, lie on the periphery of the physiographic Southwest. These sites give substance to the argument that humans lived in the Southwest more than fourteen thousand years ago. Other ancient cultures associated with such places as the Gypsum Cave, Tabeguache Cave, Sandia Cave, and Cochise sites, are located clearly within the physiographic region. Ethnologists believe that the Cochise culture, made up of people living in what is now southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, began more than ten thousand years ago and lasted until 500 B.C. or later.
During the past two thousand years prehistoric societies developed within the Southwest that ethnologists understand more substantially and more accurately than they understand the Ancient Cultures. Moreover, much of this more recent cultural development, archaeologists have determined, was surprisingly well organized and quite advanced. Many of the prehistoric Indians who left evidence of having occupied the region during the past two thousand years lived in durable masonry villages called "pueblos," from the Spanish word for "town" or "village." For archaeological research focusing on this time period, the Southwest has become one of the most intensively excavated parts of the New World.
As early as 1845, several other explorers and travelers reported seeing what appeared to be abandoned Indian pueblos. In 1849, U.S. Army Lt. James Simpson became the first Anglo to express a strong curiosity about prehistoric ruins in the Southwest when he visited Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The nineteenth century French-American guide and trapper Antoine Leroux recorded seeing what appeared to be prehistoric Indian ruins in central Arizona when he came through the region in May 1854. Leroux has been credited with being the first white man to identify and report such antiquities. Later, more professionally trained and committed scholars such as Adolph Bandelier, the "Father of Southwestern Archaeology" (1881), Jesse Walter Fewkes (1891), and Frederick Webb Hodge (1893) undertook scientific studies of Southwestern pueblo sites and published their findings in scholarly journals. This group of scholars was succeeded by still another era of archaeologists: Alfred V Kidder (1910), Earl H. Morris (1925), Charles A. Amsden (1927), and Emil W. Haury (1931 +). These people and many others like them formed a close family of researchers which eventually developed a classification or taxonomy of prehistoric "traditions":
1. The Anasazi Tradition: This group of prehistoric Indians lived in the high plateau country of the San Juan, Little Colorado, and upper Rio Grande valleys. Relying primarily upon the dry-farming of corn, they also used natural runoff from springs and the heads of streams to water other crops. They quite possibly first inhabited this general region about the time of Christ and have continued down to the present day. Most ethnologists believe that the modern Southwest Pueblo Indians descended from the Anasazi. The Anasazi far surpassed the other Indians of the Southwest in their design of architectural forms.
2. The Hohokam Tradition: Located along the lower Gila River valley in south-central Arizona, the Hohokam (from a Pima Indian word for "those who have vanished"), who cultivated corn and beans, are best known for their skillfully engineered canals and ditches. They used the waters of the Salt and Gila rivers to irrigate their crops. Possibly descendants of the Cochise culture, they came to Arizona sometime prior to A.D. 600. Ethnologists think it is possible that the Hohokam may have been the ancestors of the modem-day Pima and Tohono O'odham (Papago) peoples.
3. The Mogollon Tradition: Though not so advanced as either the Anasazi or the Hohokam traditions, the Mogollon culture deserves recognition because it appears to be the Southwest prehistoric group which offers the earliest evidence of intensive horticulture, a durable material culture, and a settled mode of life. These people occupied the Upper Gila River and Mimbres Valley areas from about 300 B.C. to A.D. 1100. They, too, may have descended from the Cochise Culture, and, like the Anasazi, they relied upon the natural runoff of water from the area's mountain streams to grow their crops.
4. The Sinagua Tradition: This culture arose in the lower part of the Little Colorado Valley, near the San Francisco Mountains area. It included Indians who developed riverine pueblos in central Arizona's Verde Valley, the northernmost outpost of the Hohokam and the southwesternmost extension of the Anasazi. The origin of these people is unclear, as is the explanation for their departure. The dates of the Sinagua people range from A.D. 400 to 1400. A blend of Hohokam irrigation methods and Anasazi Pueblo architecture characterized the Verde Valley culture. For reasons not yet explained, the Anasazi and Sinagua Pueblo peoples made an abrupt departure around A.D. 1425.
5. The Patayan Tradition: Also known as the "Yuman" culture, these people lived in the Colorado River Valley below the Grand Canyon. The few found artifacts indicate that this group may have endured as long as fifteen hundred years. Little of this society remains. Patayan is the only Southwest sedentary culture which lacked permanent houses, for these people lived in brush huts which have not survived the ravages of time and the overflow of the Colorado River. This group probably was ancestral to the modem Yuman-speaking tribes of the lower Colorado River and lower Gila River valleys.
Except for the top half of the "Northern Peripheral" group and a slice of the "Eastern Peripheral" group, all of these prehistoric peoples lived within the area designated in this essay as the "physiographic Southwest." The expression "peripheral" speaks for itself.

Contemporary Native Americans

No place else within the United States contains such impressive remnants of prehistoric culture as does the Southwest. The nation's largest number of contemporary Native Americans can be found in the physiographic Southwest, too. Their concentration is more intense and they have experienced a lesser amount of assimilation and acculturation into the Anglo society than have their ethnic counterparts in other regions of the country. Edward H. Spicer, in his regional classic Cycles of Conquest, articulated the impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest between 1533 and 1960. He found that in this region "there were many different trends and counter-trends with respect to the acceptance and rejection of what the conquerors offered as a new and superior way of life."
Spicer discovered that "where the land and other resources were regarded as undesirable by the invaders or where, through a variety of circumstances ranging from exceptional tribal cohesion to unusual natural barriers, the natives were able to resist successfully, the processes of extermination and cultural absorption did not take place." By forming and protecting cultural islands in the midst of the European societies expanding around them, these Indian groups, with some mutations and adaptations, extended the survival of their original culture. This condition may also be attributed to the fact that toward the end of the "frontier" period, United States Indian policy became more protective of Southwestern Indians. Moreover, territorial size and distances from Anglo-American influences played a role in this enclave phenomenon. By far the greatest number of square miles in the United States set aside for Native American reservations can be found in the Southwest.
Southwestern maps clearly show a clustering within the physiographic Southwest of tribes with similar forms of subsistence methods and common linguistic traditions. The integrity of these patterns corresponds closely to the Southwest's physiographic and climatic borders. Nowhere else in the United States do Indian tribes maintain their ethnic identity and membership so strongly as do those within the boundaries of the physiographic and climatic Southwest. Starting in the northwestem corner of Arizona and the southwestern corner of Utah, in a counterclockwise direction, live the Southern Paiute, the Havasupai, the Hualapai, the Mohave and the Chemehuevi tribes. Yuma Indians can still be found near the Arizona town which is their namesake, on both sides of the Colorado River. To the east of the Yumas live the Tohono O'odham. In central Arizona, the Yavapai make up a small tribe that lives in scattered settlements along the Verde River. Actually, the Yavapai have intermixed with Tonto and other peoples from the Western Apache group. South of these and north of the Tohono O'odham are the Maricopa and Pima tribes. The Tohono O'odham also live in northern Sonora, Mexico, while in the central part of Sonora can be found the Seri, Opata, and Jova tribes. Further south in Sonora are the Yaqui, Lower Pima, and Mayo. In west-central Chihuahua, the Tarahumara tribe is widely spread. Like the pueblos, most of these Indian societies derive their livelihood primarily from intensive agriculture supplemented by chickens, sheep, and other domesticated animals, as well as wild game and edible natural vegetation.
Except for the Southwest's various pueblo groups, almost all of the remaining Indians of the region are made of up of some branch of the Apache peoples: in east-central Arizona the San Carlos and White Mountain Apaches, in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico the Chiricahua Apaches, and in southwest-central New Mexico and the horn of west Texas isolated communities of Mescalero Apaches. In extreme north-central New Mexico lives a small tribe of Jicarilla Apaches. The Navajo-North America's largest and most concentrated group of Native Americans-are cousins of the Apaches. Their reservation, primarily located in Arizona, spreads also into parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Several contemporary pueblo tribes occupy sites in New Mexico's northern Rio Grande Valley. Their remarkable and unique retention of relative indigenous purity, both cultural and genetic, sets this cluster of Southwest Indian tribes apart from other ethnic groups, including Native Americans located elsewhere in North America.
Ethnologists believe that in pre-Columbian times at least two thousand distinct Indian languages existed in the Western Hemisphere, accounting for about one-third of the languages of the world. By employing sophisticated techniques to determine how much a language has changed through time, linguists have also been able to demonstrate genetic connections between Indian groups previously thought to be separate. Such study continues to reveal many explanations about the prehistoric migration patterns and cultural evolution of the Southwest Indian peoples. Parts of the largest single language group in pre-Columbian North America, the Uto-Aztecan language family, stiff can be found extending in a long irregular tract from southern Idaho to central Mexico, and on to Panama in scattered pockets. The Uto-Aztecan languages are thought to have had a single parent tongue about five thousand years ago and to have spread from a central homeland in south- eastern California and western Arizona. The language spread eastward and to the south, probably within the last two thousand years. It reached Texas about A.D. 1700 and the Valley of Mexico not long after A.D. 1200. Uto-Aztecan speakers display the greatest cultural divergence of any language in the southwest quadrant. The Uto-Aztecan also dominates the physiographic Southwest's language pattern. The Hopi, Pima, Tohono O'odham, Yaqui, Tarahumara, Southern Paiute, Ute, and Chemehuevi, as well as lesser languages, belong to this family.
A Southwestern island of seven languages belonging to the Athapascan linguistic family ties within the broader Uto-Aztecan group. Studies demonstrate that the several Athapascan dialects within the Southwest all belong to various Apache tribes. This group makes up the latest language incursion; the Athapascans penetrated the Uto-Aztecan societies about four hundred years ago. Within the more recently claimed Athapascan territory lies an even smaller island collection of dialects which make up another subgroup of the Aztec-Tanoan family. These include the Tiwa, Tewa, Towa, and Kiowa languages. Several somewhat anomalous and as yet ancestrally unexplained language enclaves called "isolates" are found in the physiographic Southwest, too. The Zuñi Language Isolate appears to belong to the Penutian Phylum, while the Keres Language Isolate and the Tarascan Language Isolate have as yet undetermined phylum affiliations. The Seri Language Isolate shows a link with the Hokan Phylum.
Clearly there are linguistic patterns and concentrations that can be labeled "Southwest." This physiographic region features a distinctive, substantial, and highly visible American Indian population, both prehis- toric and contemporary.

The Historic Southwest

The history of the Southwest, that is to say, the documented record of the explorers and settlers of this region, began with the Spaniards in Mexico during the second quarter of the sixteenth century. For years the gold-hungry Spaniards had talked about the legend of "El Dorado" and the "Seven Cities of Gold." In 1538 a Spanish explorer, Cabeza de Vaca, and three companions including a black Moorish slave, Estevinico de Dorantes, stumbled into northern Mexico. They told a bizarre story. They claimed that after being shipwrecked, they wandered for four years through the North American areas where Texas and possibly southern New Mexico are today. While they did not claim personally to have seen cities of gold and "people who wore cotton," the stories they had heard about such things during their wanderings fired the curiosity and fantasies and ambitions of Spanish authorities clear up to the level of the Viceroy of New Spain, Don Antonio de Mendoza. To head an expedition northward into the "Tierra Nueva Norte" to investigate Cabeza de Vaca's report, Mendoza chose a Franciscan priest, Fray Marcos de Niza. This entrada was less than totally successful.
According to his relación sent to the viceroy, Fr. Marcos, together with Estevánico, left the New Spain province of Culiacám on Friday, March 19, 1539, with the goal in mind of, to use Herbert E. Bolton's words, "piercing the northern Mystery." After several days, Fr. Marcos sent Estevánico ahead of the main party with some Indians to reconnoiter the country and to send back periodic reports. Fr. Marcos never saw his companion again. Four days later, the first of Estevánico's messengers sent back to the friar arrived to say that ahead of De Niza lay a province of seven very great cities, and the first city was named Cíbola. The advance party's subsequent messages continued to heighten the friar's expectations. On a day in late May-Fr. Marcos is imprecise about the date-a grieved and exhausted Indian who had been with Esteánico met the priest and told him that the people of Cíbola had killed the black man. Ignoring an angry warning from the lord of Cíbola to turn back, Estevánico had defied the chief and strode into his doom. Some stories say he had been impolitic and boorish. After reflecting upon his guides fate, Fr. Marcos decided to risk a look. Most historians agree that the village he glimpsed from a distance was Hawikuh, at that time the southwestermnost pueblo of Zuñi.
After the fiasco at Hawikuh, Fray Marcos hastened back to Mexico to make his report to Mendoza. This report led to Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's entrada in 1540. Coronado's two-year excursion, which included visits to new lands but also much misery and no gold, left the Spanish less than enthusiastic about further expeditions to the north. However, forty years later, an expedition up the Río del Norte (Rio Grande), a more direct route to northern New Mexico, led by Fray Agustín Rodriguez and Captain Francisco Chamuscado rekindled Spanish curiosity.
In 1582-83, a Spanish rancher from southern Chihuahua, Antonio de Espejo, brought another expedition northward along the Río del Norte. Hearing of great mines to the west, Espejo went to Zuni and then to the Hopi villages. Friendly Hopis led him westward to the mines where Jerome, Arizona, is today. Finding only copper and other nonprecious metal ores, Espejo hastened back to the Rio Grande and home to Mexico. Despite the consistent failure to find rare metals, rumors stemming from these explorations fueled and intensified the belief that gold and other riches existed to the north of Mexico. Together with the prospects for converting the native Indian population to Catholicism, the lust for mineral wealth continued to provoke forays into this region.
As a consequence of the avaricious appetite but consistently futile quest for riches (a testimony to the human capability for maintaining hope despite persistent disappointment) and a messianic compulsion to recruit Indians for Christianity, Spaniards during the next two hundred and eighty years made numerous entradas into the Southwest. Despite some frustration in failing to proselytize Indians and discover quick wealth, the Spanish did successfully establish missions for the Indians. They also founded a few small and isolated communities that have persisted-a few have grown, many are moribund, some are abandoned- down to the present time. The development of the Santa Barbara and Parral mining districts in the Valle de San Bartolomé, Chihuahua, created important and permanent bases for the explorations northward and must be considered as part of the cultural Southwest. The same could be said for the capitals of Sonora-San Juan Bautista, Arizpe, and later, Ures- places that were also part of the history of Arizona.
In the late sixteenth century, popular pressure and curiosity influenced the Spanish civil authorities to consider colonization of New Mexico. Following several unauthorized, even illegal, Spanish colonizing efforts, in 1595 the viceroy licensed Don Juan de Oñate to establish Spanish colonies in New Mexico and designated him the first governor of Northern New Spain. Moving into the upper Rio Grande Valley, Oñate founded a colonial settlement and then proceeded to explore the region for mineral wealth and other resources. He or his representatives traveled east to the Great Plains and west to the Gulf of California. Under Oñate's protection, Franciscan priests founded a number of missions.
During the seventeenth century, efforts to build up the settlement of the northern Rio Grande Valley continued. By 1680 more than twenty-five missions had been established in the province of New Mexico. That year, however, the Pueblo Indians staged a revolt and drove the Hispanics south down the Rio Grande back to El Paso. Led by Don Diego de Vargas, the Spaniards successfully reoccupied the upper Rio Grande Valley in 1692 and then commenced to extend their colonization outward. During this period, led by such people as Fr. Eusebio Francisco Kino, Hispanics settled in what is today northern Sonora and southern Arizona, especially that part of Arizona included later in the Gadsden Purchase of 1853.
Over the past sixty to seventy years certain historians of the Southwest have come to call this region the "Spanish Borderlands." The origin of this term has been attributed to Herbert Bolton, but a generation earlier, historian Hubert Howe Bancroft laid the foundation for this perspective. Scholars influenced by Bolton, however, have magnified the significance of this point of view greatly, probably beyond Bolton's expectations, as an interpretive school of American history. This school argues that Spanish entradas and settlement greatly influenced the Southwestern United States. Moreover, borderlands scholars contend, the Spanish brought culture and enlightenment to the region and improved the quality of life which the indigenous peoples had known prior to the time of the Spanish invasion. These historians tell us that even though the conquistadores murdered, tortured, and enslaved the Indians, robbed them of their self-determination and traditions, forced Catholicism upon them, and brutally punished those who were recalcitrant, the indigenes benefitted greatly from this experience.
Early in the eighteenth century, Franciscan priests and lay colonists founded missions and presidios in southern Texas, and during the last quarter of the century did the same in California. This Catholic order established a number of missions and presidios close to the Pacific coast extending from San Diego as far north as San Francisco. After the successful revolution against Spain which ended with Mexico's independence in 1821, the new government issued orders to the Catholic church to secularize its activities. This meant that the missions had to be closed by 1834. The relationship between the colonial Hispanics of Northern New Spain and the Spanish and Mexican religious and political authorities had always been distant and tenuous. These relationships declined further, and, in many cases by 1840, had already disappeared. The Hispanic presence in California declined dramatically during the second half of the nineteenth century. In New Mexico, between 1800 and 1850, the small, scattered, and isolated Spanish colonial pockets became self- governing enclaves with little direct contact with either Spain or Mexico. At times these communities were guided and governed only by local chapters of a religious and somewhat secret fraternal organization, the Penitente Brotherhood. This tradition of local sovereignty changed drastically after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, when the United States quickly occupied and began to dominate completely the Southwest's Spanish-descended residents.
Prior to 1848, due to overpopulation, many northern New Mexico Hispanics made several unsuccessful efforts to settle in southern Colorado. But starting in 1851, northern New Mexico Hispanics migrated to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado to establish permanent communities, and then began to spread eastward through La Veta and Raton passes to Trinidad and on through the Cucharas and Huerfano river basins to Pueblo, Colorado. Up until 1900, small numbers of Mexican and New Mexican Hispanics continued to migrate to other parts of the Southwest and West. Hispanic influence in Arizona, as it is popularly understood, has been greatly exaggerated. Most of the Spanish occupation of this state prior to the twentieth century was tentative at best and remained confined to a very few intermittently occupied missions and presidios in the Santa Cruz Valley in Arizona's extreme south-central area. Farther north, the Hopi effectively shut out the Spanish after the year 1700, and almost all of central and northern Arizona remained tierra incógnita y despoblado for all non-Indians up until the last third of the nineteenth century, when Anglo miners, most of them Protestants, settled in the territory's middle regions.
In fact, few enduring remnants of Hispanic occupation existed in Arizona after 1859. Federal census figures for 1860, 1864, and 1870 show many Hispanic names in the region, but a large portion of these people were Papago, Pima, Maricopa, and Apache Indians. Immigrants from New Mexico and Mexico who came to work for the Yankees constituted most of the rest. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century Anglo soldiers and miners in several Arizona mining towns and army camps found Mexican women for partners, as spouses and otherwise, and mining companies in Morenci, Arizona, imported mestizo workers from Sonora and Chihuahua. But these demographics show no cultural continuity of Hispanic influence in Arizona.
Regarding the Hispanic influence in Southern California, Carey McWilliams wrote in 1946, "Aside from a few items which had been incorporated into the dominant cultural pattern, the Spanish influence appeared to have been completely obliterated. Certainly the dominant Anglo-American cultural pattern had not been modified except in a few minor respects." On this subject, McWilliams quoted California-born (1855) Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce:

No one who has grown up in California can be under an illusion as to the small extent to which the American character, as here exemplified, has been really altered by foreign intercourse, large as the foreign population has always remained. The foreign influence has never been for the American community at large, in California, more than skin-deep.... You cannot call a community of Ameri- cans foreign in disposition merely because its amusements have a foreign look.

More broadly interpreted, Royce is telling us a painful truth: substantive, significant, and conspicuous evidence of Hispanic impact on the Southwest is only incidental. Yet the scarce vestigial traces of the Spanish occupation of California fit a romantic image more than did anything in New Mexico.
The Hispanic legacy found perpetuation in oblique ways, too. In their role as culture brokers, the Southwest's Anglo-American imagemakers in several ways used variations on the Hispanic model in shaping both Anglo cliches and Indian ones. In addition to creating an Hispanic tradition as it suited Charles Lummis and Helen Hunt Jackson, the Southwest imagemakers found in the Spanish hacienda and vaquero models for the ranch and cowboy romance. In the meantime, Anglo traders used Hispanic craftsmen to teach the Southwest Indians how to shape silver jewelry and to spin, dye, and weave woolen rugs and blankets.
As Richard Nostrand has written, "Not until the twentieth century did Hispanic numbers [in the Southwest] soar." But this was a different migration. Between 1900 and 1959, more than one million Mexican nationals immigrated to the United States. Some Spanish-borderlands scholars seem to ignore the relatively recent arrival of most Spanish- surnamed people, and use the human geography of this larger and more recent Hispanic population to buttress their argument that Spain and Mexico have had a powerful influence upon this region.
Current demographic statistics do not provoke any great revision in determining that area which we can call the "Hispanic Southwest." Place names in southern Texas and California suggest a rich and enduring Hispanic heritage in those two states. But following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, hordes of white Americans rushed into these Hispanic areas of Texas, and, even though white Americans totally dominated these parts of Texas, they continued to use many existing Spanish place names. Most of California's Spanish place names were designated by Anglo real estate developers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in an attempt to capitalize commercially on the state's romance that visitors and newcomers to the region found so "quaint" and attractive. A meaningful cultural presence of Hispanic traditions cannot be derived merely from Spanish place names. And other qualifications- primarily physiographic, climatic, and prehistoric-preclude Texas and California from being placed within "the Southwest."

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