When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846

By Ramón A. Gutiérrez | Go to book overview

4
The Reconquest of New Mexico

After the Corn Mothers, Iatiku and Nautsiti, had lived on the earth together for a while they began to quarrel because Nautsiti was selfish and hoarded the things in her basket, say the Acoma Indians, explaining how it was that their Corn Mothers first separated and how they were reunited after many years. Because the sisters constantly argued, Nautsiti decided to leave her sister, taking with her the child she loved and her basket, which contained sheep and cattle fetishes, wheat and vegetable seeds, many metal things, and something written. Nautsiti offered to share these things with her sister, but Iatiku refused to accept them, saying that she "did not want her children to have them." Nautsiti departed to the east and promised Iatiku that "in a long time to come we shall meet again and then you will be wearing clothes." 1

A woman bearing a likeness to Nautsiti returned to the Pueblos in 1692, just as she said she would. Her name was Nuestra Señora del Rosario, La Conquistadora, Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, Virgin of the Conquest. In one arm she carried her infant son, Jesus Christ, and in the other she clasped a rosary. Around her were the things she had brought to life: cattle, sheep, vegetables, metal tools, armaments, and writings. Our Lady of the Conquest returned to New Mexico on August 21, 1692, carried by 60 Spanish soldiers and 100 Indian auxiliaries. Heading the troops who would restore her terrestrial kingdom among the Pueblos was Don Diego de Vargas, the reconquerer of New Mexico. Marching to clarions and to the beat of war drums, the troops of the reconquest advanced north, reaching the walled city of Santa Fe on September 13, 1692. 2

"Praised be the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of the Ransom," Vargas shouted at Santa Fe's gates that September day, bidding the In-

-143-

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When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Tables and Figures xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Part I - The Sixteenth Century. 1
  • I - The Pueblo Indian World in the Sixteenth Century 3
  • Part II - The Seventeenth Century 37
  • 2 - The Spanish Conquest of New Mexico 39
  • 3 - Seventeenth-Century Politics 95
  • Part III - The Eighteenth Century 141
  • 4 - The Reconquest of New Mexico 143
  • 5 - Honor and Social Status 176
  • 6 - Honor and Virtue 207
  • 7 - Honor and Marriage 227
  • 8 - Marriage and the Church 241
  • 9 - Marriage -- the Empirical Evidence 271
  • 10 - The Bourbon Reforms on the Northern Frontier 298
  • Epilogue 337
  • Reference Matter 341
  • Notes 343
  • Bibliography 389
  • Index 417
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