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Class Year

2015

Abstract

During the Spanish colonial period in New Mexico’s history, the area became a place where cultural, social, and economic mixing of various Native American groups and Spanish settlers frequently occurred. Certain peoples, such as the Pueblo, lived in an agrarian society and worked in close proximity to the Spanish. Other peoples, such as the Comanche, Apache, and Navajo, developed hostile relationships with these foreigners, and their raids on the Spanish, Pueblo, and each other changed the dynamic of their settlements. Sources from Spanish and Church officials, along with travel logs, discuss the effects of natural resources, such as water and animals – including the bison and horse – on the causes of raids and subsequent effects these hostilities had on Spanish-Indian relations. The importance of water created a strong desire for nomadic societies to obtain and maintain horse-herds and for settled societies to create tight communities near water sources. The need for horses created a cycle of raiding, motivated by the need and competition for natural resources.