Drs. Blake and Smith are assistant professors of geography at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506–2904.
PUEBLO MISSION CHURCHES AS SYMBOLS OF PERMANENCE AND IDENTITY*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2000 American Geographical Society
Volume 90, Issue 3, pages 359–380, July 2000
How to Cite
BLAKE, K. S. and SMITH, J. S. (2000), PUEBLO MISSION CHURCHES AS SYMBOLS OF PERMANENCE AND IDENTITY. Geographical Review, 90: 359–380. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2000.tb00342.x
We gratefully acknowledge Chris Wilson's helpful comments on a draft of this article.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- mission churches;
- New Mexico;
- place identity;
- Pueblo Indians
ABSTRACT. The three Pueblo mission churches of San Esteban del Rey, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and San José de Laguna are the most visually striking structures in the western New Mexico pueblos of Acoma, Zuni, and Laguna. Prime examples of “structures of permanence” on the landscape, the churches define local cultural identity. Church permanence and Pueblo identity are expressed in a five-part typology of visible characteristics: natural materials and hand labor, massive exterior form, adjoining cemeteries, syncretism of interior decorations, and structural decay and rebirth. Permanence must, however, be understood as an evolving condition, undergoing new representations as multicultural relationships evolve.