Handbooks of Archeological History: Indians of the Rio Grande Valley
From the Introduction:
The plan for this series of non-technical Handbooks of the Archaeological History of the American Southwest calls for three volumes on the region east of the continental divide: that is, the Rio Grande drainage. While it is not necessary that they come in fixed sequence, they might logically be read in the following order: (1) Natural History of the Rio Grande Valley and Its Influence on Pueblo Indian Culture, (2) Indians of the Rio Grande Valley, and (3) Archaeological History of the Rio Grande Valley. In all of these the knowledge of the living Indians will be utilized to the fullest possible extent.
It may be asked how all these can be considered within the scope of archaeological history. I have endeavored to answer that in the statement, The Pueblo Indian orders his life to this day on lines laid down ages ago. Tradition governs in both individual and community life. In every vital respect he is a contemporary of the village Indians of half a millennium [sic] ago. The study of the Pueblo Indians, therefore, falls within the realm of archaeology. The natural history of their environment; their present day culture; the documentary record put down by the explorers who first brought them into the white man's world, are essential factors in the ancient history of these singular people, who in a very real sense live in the past as well as in the present; whose ancestors, to their way of thinking, actually live and move among them, guiding their lives in the good ways of old. We have those Indians with us still, in reduced numbers, an important element in our population.
An understanding of Pueblo life as it continues in our time is necessary to complete the cultural history. This volume opens with a statement concerning the American Indian in general. This is followed by the dissertation which is the major theme of Part One of this Handbook, namely, the Rio Grande Pueblos as we find them today-a summary of facts ascertained and conclusions reached in the course of forty years of life and study in the Southwest-in intimate, friendly association with these Indians. What is put down in this work has been learned from the living people. It is recorded here for comparison with the picture from written records of the Pueblos of the conquest period. To check against my own observations and conclusions, I have introduced extensive quotations from the writings of my associates in the study of Indian culture. Also I have set a number of students to work among the Pueblos. They have gone to them as friends, lived among them, studied them with open minds, written about them with genuine understanding and sympathy. Their contributions are among the most valuable in this work.
Part Two of this volume, Documentary History of the Rio Grande Pueblos, by the great historian, Adolph F. Bandelier, gives us the eyewitness impressions of Spanish historians and chroniclers of the sixteenth century, who were the first Europeans to see the Indians of the Rio Grande valley. To the Indians, that was the most momentous time in human history. Back of the documented period of four centuries ago, we have their traditions, ruined towns, refuse heaps, and an ancient pictography. We can reach, by excavation, into that pre-documentary age to uncover the record of the remote past and trace it back as far as there are any trails that can be followed. That is brought out in other numbers of this series. The ultimate object is to make the Indian's place among the races of men better understood.