Lived Experience in New Mexico, 1754-2019: A Historical Archaeology With and For a Genizaro Community
Deep contestations of essentialized identity categories are a contemporary reality for communities for whom cultural patrimony of land and water resources play a crucial role. Yet, archaeology has not been able to adequately recognize the dynamics of the changing nature of identity practices which shaped interactions between groups of people, particularly in areas with a sustained colonial presence and resource-challenged ecologies. The high-elevation, semi-arid climate and historical complexity of Northern New Mexico provide such a context. My research objective is to understand how Genizaro Indian communities are sensitive to the historically particular dynamics of ethnopolitical empowerment and racialization in the 18th to early 20th centuries. This project uses an examination of the documentary record, faunal remains, and commensurate data from excavated materials from Genizaro communities in New Mexico to build upon existing models of cultural hybridity and ethnogenesis.