This reading is very interesting because it continues along the current theme of this course, which is non-textual sources being used in historical studies and research. At first, I thought this chapter was going to introduce the topic of religious views influencing history telling, since the first few pages of this introduction spent a good deal of emphasis on Catholicism and a Pueblo prophecy. However, as I read on, I realized that was just some background information as to why the history of this area between the Natives of the region and the Spanish colonizers during the time period the author looks at can be complicated to understand. To quote the text in order to explain a little better how this history can be complicated: “the story of the Pueblo Revolt era (1680-96) is filled with apparent ironies and contradictions” (Liebmann, 4).
The author of this text sets out to try and give better information on this Pueblo Revolt era by using more than what has traditionally been used when researching this particular event. What has been traditionally used when researching the Pueblo Revolt era has been accounts written by the Spanish colonizers and Franciscan ecclesiastical correspondence. These texts, while helpful, only give a one-sided perspective on this era. However, these have been the only written accounts available, since the Pueblos did not record their own versions of these events in writing (Liebmann, 7). The author of this text does not let this stand in their way, however, as they decide to not only use the texts mentioned, but also use the material culture (artifacts, architecture, rock art) of the Pueblos to help bridge that gap of misinformation. This is very helpful, for it will be able to “supplement the documentary record, providing new perspectives on the Pueblo Revolt and its aftermath” (Liebmann, 8).
Sarah E Jones