The Colonial Indo-Hispano Landscape
238 Ledoux Street
Taos, NM 87571
6 - 8 PM
Questions and answers for Reporter Yvone Pesquera of the Taos News, October 2016
1. Can you explain this broad subject of "Colonial Indo-Hispano Landscape" in modern, relevant terms?
Indo-Hispano is a term which I believe was coined by Enrique Lamadrid (and Benito Cordova?) in reference to the dichotomous and disenfranchising separation of peoples who have complex ancestries into "Hispanic" or "Native American" typologies. In the Spanish Colonial era in New Mexico, the sistema de castas attempted to codify elite paranoia about the rising power of people who were fluent in multiple cultures and their practices. As we are but four members of an entire coalition working on issues of sovereignty, sustainable landscape management, and cultural signatures in land grant communities of the north, the connections between land, identity, and community practices are central foci of our collaborative project.
2. How does it relate to my everyday life in Taos?
We’re not Taoseños, so perhaps not the best people to ask. However, we might agree that everyone eats, needs clean water, and inhabits spaces greater than the sum of their homes and communities. Tracing the connections to those basic issues from landscape processes that were long ago and still are intimately tied to racializing processes might be something that any community might find important.
3. Even more specifically, what am I going to learn that would make me want to come to this event? (Versus the 25 other events going on that same night in that same time slot.)
I would imagine that this would be for someone is interested in deep-time perspectives on land, water, and community and wants to hear from not only archaeologists who study those topics, but also contemporary practitioners who have critical investments in those realms of practice
4. What aspects of Colonialism are you going to talk about?
Isabel, Virgil, Charlie, and I are going to be talking about "Transformations in the Colonial Landscape" (which is why it's so important that we talk as a panel). So we will try to discuss how sustainable watershed management practices have a long history in places like Abiquiú . One outcome of our collaboration is to contextualize a trajectory of practices and conflicts with governmentality with an eye towards increasing resiliency for our shared landscapes by listening to the people whose communities have lived it and passed it on to their children for generations.
5. Is there something you'd like to tell me that I haven't asked?
The Berkeley-Abiquiú Collaborative Archaeology (BACA) partnership centralizes descendant community priorities in research inception, design, implementation, and application of archaeological science that serves the Pueblo de Abiquiú as well as the professionalization of youth, students, and research partners. The goal of our work is to be meaningfully engaged with current struggles for self-determination, which include heritage resource protection, cultural revival, land, and water rights.
A diverse team of volunteer faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, community religious and secular leaders, community youth, and professional archaeologists from private and public sector agencies work with the Pueblo de Abiquiú towards a historical archaeological enterprise which not only records deep-time perspectives on the sustainable watershed management practices of ancestors, but focuses on intergenerational skills and knowledge transfers within the community and allied rural villages. Research agendas and modes of reporting are closely articulated with community priorities including developing a local voice for history and culture while preparing the next generation to take the reins of watershed management.