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Lost Conquistadors of the Pueblo World - El Palacio Magazine

Lost Conquistadors of the Pueblo World - El Palacio Magazine

Lost Conquistadors of the Pueblo World - El Palacio

a place like no other Lost Conquistadors and the Pueblo World By Carroll L. Riley, Ph.D. In this installment of our series, preeminent ethnohistorian Carroll Riley, Ph.D., traces some of the lesser-known early Spanish expeditions to the Far Northern frontier of New Spain. These conquistadores came as part of the expansion of empire and the acquisition of lands, resources, and subject people. Spanish explorers were supposed to receive authorization from the Viceroy before they embarked on an expedition, so they typically did not act alone and were not solitary explorers. Riley reports on a few of these conquistadores that evidently did not wait for permission to explore. Several Spanish expeditions reached New Mexico before and after Coronado, and yet left no written record. While there are no surviving primary documents, later accounts tell us a great deal about what motivated early Spanish exploration of the Southwest. Riley examines the role of religion as a motivation and goal of the Spanish in expanding the reach of the empire in the 1500s and the unintended consequences of the renewed contacts between the peoples of New Spain and Mexico’s indigenous peoples. —Frances Levine, Ph.D., Director, Palace of the Governors/The New Mexico History Museum 64 E l P a l a c i o

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