This is a sweeping survey of American Indian agriculture from its ancient origins to the present. It combines a wealth of historical, anthropological, legal, and economic information in a clear, readable synthesis. "This is without doubt the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of American Indian agriculture in print. It is multidisciplinary and impressive both in scope and in depth. Hurt shows a deft hand in summarizing not only the literature on the evolution of agriculture in North America, but also the dismal failure of American Indian policy to build on earlier Native American achievements. This book is the starting point for any serious consideration of the literature on subjects ranging from the domestication of corn, to pre-contact irrigation, to current Indian water rights."—Richard White, author of It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own. "This extremely worthwhile work is a significant contribution to both Indian history and general American history."—Gilbert Fite, past president of the Agricultural History Society and the Western History Association. "Merits the attention of all who are concerned about the past, present, and future of American Indians. The chapters devoted to the past century should be required reading for students of modern agricultural and American Indian history."—Peter Iverson, author of When Indians Became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American West. "A very thorough and readable account. The scope of this work is truly impressive. The bulk of it revolves around the implementation of United States federal Indian policies aimed at transforming Native Americans into self-sufficient yeoman farmers and farm families during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hurt's chapters on Indian agriculture and water rights in the twentieth century are very timely and instructive. Should become a standard text for American Indian history courses."—New Mexico Historical Review. "A useful introduction to the subject that is organized in an admirably clear fashion and can be recommended to student and specialist alike."—Journal of American History. "Offers fresh and vital insights into the life and culture of the American Indian."—American Historical Review. "A comprehensive, authoritative account of one of the most significant topics in the history of Indian-white relations."—Western Historical Quarterly.
In New Mexico—once a Spanish colony, then part of Mexico—Pueblo Indians and descendants of Spanish- and Mexican-era settlers still think of themselves as distinct peoples, each with a dynamic history. At the core of these persistent cultural identities is each group's historical relationship to the others and to the land, a connection that changed dramatically when the United States wrested control of the region from Mexico in 1848.
Over five centuries of foreign rule—by Spain, Mexico, and the United States—Native American pueblos have confronted attacks on their sovereignty and encroachments on their land and water rights. How five New Mexico and Texas pueblos did this, in some cases multiple times, forms the history of cultural resilience and tenacity chronicled in Pueblo Sovereignty by two of New Mexico’s most distinguished legal historians, Malcolm Ebright and Rick Hendricks. Extending their award-winning work Four Square Leagues, Ebright and Hendricks focus here on four New Mexico Pueblo Indian communities—Pojoaque, Nambe, Tesuque, and Isleta—and one now in Texas, Ysleta del Sur. The authors trace the complex tangle of conflicting jurisdictions and laws these pueblos faced when defending their extremely limited land and water resources. The communities often met such challenges in court and, sometimes, as in the case of Tesuque Pueblo in 1922, took matters into their own hands. Ebright and Hendricks describe how—at times aided by appointed Spanish officials, private lawyers, priests, and Indian agents—each pueblo resisted various non-Indian, institutional, and legal pressures; and how each suffered defeat in the Court of Private Land Claims and the Pueblo Lands Board, only to assert its sovereignty again and again. Although some of these defenses led to stunning victories, all five pueblos experienced serious population declines. Some were even temporarily abandoned. That all have subsequently seen a return to their traditions and ceremonies, and ultimately have survived and thrived, is a testimony to their resilience. Their stories, documented here in extraordinary detail, are critical to a complete understanding of the history of the Pueblos and of the American Southwest.