TwHP Lessons

Gran Quivira: A Blending of Cultures
in a Pueblo Indian Village

[Cover photo] Gran Quivira Unit, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
(National Park Service)


t first, one encounters a soothing silence broken only by a constant breeze and the chirr of insect wings. Sparse desert flora partially hides the remains of ancient stone houses built by early American Indians who inhabited this area of central New Mexico. Farther along the trail an excavated mound reveals the broken foundations of a large apartment house and several ceremonial kivas typical of the southwest Pueblo Indian culture. Nearby, the ruins of two mission churches attest to the presence of Spanish priests in this isolated region. The quiet remnants of the village of Las Humanas, now called Gran Quivira, only hint at the vibrant society that thrived here until the late 17th century. Today it is one of three sites that make up Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Early Puebloan communities
 2. The Salinas Basin

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Village Life
 2. The Coming of the Spaniards

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Gran Quivira Unit
 2. A kiva at Gran Quivira
 3. A typical kiva
 4. An aerial view of Gran Quivira
 5. Plan of Gran Quivira
 6. An artist's conception of Gran Quivira

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Retrieving Data
 2. Constructing a Model of a Pueblo
 3. The Puebloans and Local Indians

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Salinas Pueblo Missions

This lesson is based on Salinas Pueblo National Monument, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.



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