Home > History, Sexuality > The Pueblo Indians of The 17th Century.

The Pueblo Indians of The 17th Century.

Adobe pueblo revival style architecture in San...

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The Pueblo Indians are a conglomeration of tribes who live in Arizona and New Mexico. Known as the cliff dwellers, they were the only tribes in the American South West who formed villages, known as Pueblos, as well as the only tribes who lived off agriculture. The Pueblos are best known for not only their homes built into the cliffs, but for their worship of living spirits, or Kachinas, including Kokopelli, the trickster god. What many of you may not be aware of is that the Pueblos were almost successful in halting the Spanish invasion of south western North America. Their weapon of choice was one that has stood the test of time for thousands of years: Sex.

The Pueblo Indians, of which the Hopi and Taiwa are probably the best known of the tribes, are very similar to most of the Native American tribes of North America in that they believe in giving gifts when they meet with others. The custom of gift giving was very important to the Native Americans. When a gift was presented to another, the recipient was expected to give back a gift of equal value, or be indebted to the giver. For many Native American tribes gift giving was of the usual variety; gifts could range from food or blankets, up to weapons or precious gems or metals. In the Pueblos Indians case, sex was perhaps the most valued gift one could give to another.

For Pueblo women sex was given for a few reasons; there was procreation of course, but it was also given in return for goods or services. In addition, the Pueblo women used sex in order to tame either the man they were about to marry, or strangers who happened to come venture into their villages. However, the gift of sex did not stop with the women; men too, used sex in order to get something in return. What the men wanted was magic; when a Pueblo man encountered another man who was deemed to possess great magic, it was believed that having sex with the man of powerful magic would be a way to get some of his powers in return.

During the 17th century, the Spanish who were already entrenched in colonizing Mexico and South America had heard rumors of the existence of the fabled seven cities of gold in the American South West. They sent several expeditions consisting of military and scouts to find these cities of gold, as well as colonize the area and conquer the Pueblos, Apaches, and Navajo Indians who populated the area. What they found instead of gold, were the Pueblo Indians, who believing the Spanish soldiers possessed powerful magic, wanted to have sex with the Spanish, in order to take their magic as well as tame them. The soldiers, who had been marching for months, were of course extremely receptive to these gifts that the Pueblo men and women were offering, and gladly accepted.

Word of this eventually made its way back to the Council of the Indies, the Spanish base of operations in the Western Hemisphere. The council, when hearing that the Spanish were too busy to colonize the American South West because they were occupied with having sex with everyone, responded with “ Oh hell no!” As a result, the troops were recalled to Mexico, and it would be decades later before another attempt was made to conquer the south west. This time however, instead of soldiers, it was the Franciscan monks and friars who were sent in order to Christianize the Pueblos, as well as enslave them to work for the ranchers and farmers who were to follow. Ostensibly, the Pueblos could not seduce these men of god (priests turning down sex with young men? yeah right), and the Pueblos were Christianized, although they still practiced their spirituality in secret. With the exception of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 lead by medicine man El Pope (today is the anniversary of the start of that revolt), the Spanish eventually conquered the territory, enslaved the Pueblos, and established the second oldest, still inhabited city in America, Santa Fe New Mexico. The rest as they say is history.

  1. August 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Dang Spaniards…
    Dang Franciscan monks…
    Dang Franciscan friars…
    Now we got a Hopi President…


  2. August 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    That was a great bit of history, Tin. Yay that they were able to fend them off that way. Boo that the Church got word of it.


  3. August 15, 2011 at 2:44 am

    The Spanish made it as far as Southwest Kansas, where they found, of course nothing worth staying for.
    When the Spanish owned the Louisiana Territory, the indigenous people hated them and really blocked any routes (Santa Fe Trail, etc.) west. Once the French obtained the same territory, they treated the Indians much different. They learned their customs and respected them, intermarrying with them quite readily. The French became true “Traders” as opposed to conquerors, and the now famous western trails then opened up, as long as they obeyed local customs and always paid for passage through the different territories.


  1. September 20, 2011 at 12:00 am
  2. February 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

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