Previous historical scholarship on the origins of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt argues that the rebellion resulted from either poor environmental conditions, harsh Spanish treatment of the Pueblo Indians, or a combination of the two. Using Puebloan myths, Spanish documents from colonial New Mexico, and anthropological studies of various Puebloan groups and religions, this paper contends that the Pueblo identified the disease, worsening environmental conditions, and harsh Spanish treatment as an indicator that they had failed to meet their ceremonial obligations to their ancestors. Therefore, Spanish occupation and prohibition of customary Pueblo religion acted as a barrier to their restoration of harmony. Thus given a tangible cause for their suffering, the Pueblo people rebelled to rid themselves of the Spanish in order to practice rituals and secure their prosperity.

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