A Tour of Hanat Kotyiti and the Historic Village of La Cañada

Trip Leaders: Dr. Joseph Suina, Rory Gauthier, and Robert Powers

Field Trip, (this trip is full and closed to new registration)

Friday, April 4, 2014, 8:00 am–4:00 pm

Hanat KotyitiHanat KotyitiCourtesy of Rory GauthierHanat KotyitiCourtesy of Rory Gauthier

Today, the Keres-speaking village of Cochiti Pueblo lies along the banks of the Rio Grande. However, soon after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the people of Cochiti and other Pueblo people built more defensible pueblos on high, remote mesas to prepare for the return of the Spanish. Cochiti and some San Felipe people joined together again briefly at the village of Hanat Kotyiti (“Cochiti above”) on Horn Mesa. Kotyiti is located approximately 700 feet above the canyon bottom of the Rio Chiquito. There are two distinct villages on the mesa—a formal plaza pueblo with six roomblocks containing two kivas, and a secondary village composed of a loose clustering of individual houses.

Hanat Kotyiti was the setting of one of the final battles of the Spanish reconquest of New Mexico. It was a village in flux as people from other Pueblo villages periodically joined and left the community. Some people wanted to surrender peaceably to the Spaniards, while others planned to resist. Diego de Vargas attacked the village on April 17, 1694, with a combined force of over 150 men, the majority being composed of allied Pueblo warriors from San Felipe, Santa Ana, and Zia. Although Vargas captured the village in an early morning attack, most of the warriors escaped. Four days later, the warriors counterattacked and succeeded in freeing half of their women and children.

Hanat KotyitiHanat KotyitiCourtesy of Janie MillerHanat KotyitiCourtesy of Janie MillerThis trip will be co-lead by Rory Gauthier, Robert Powers, and Dr. Joseph Suina. Dr. Suina is a past Governor and current member of the Cochiti Tribal Council. Dr. Suina will share his knowledge of Cochiti prehistory and migrations, the cultural impact of the Spanish Colonial invasion, and the subsequent Pueblo Revolts of 1680 and 1694.

Archaeologists Robert Powers and Rory Gauthier have extensively explored and recorded the prehistoric use of the Pajarito Plateau. Bob, a retired NPS archaeologist, directed the Bandelier Archaeological Survey and edited the SAR Press book The Peopling of Bandelier. Rory is the park archaeologist for Bandelier National Monument and has authored several books on prehistoric New Mexico.

The trip will include a visit to the Hispanic village of La Cañada, which was established in the mid 1700s and included 50 families. The village was abandoned in 1950. We will see the results of recent and dramatic flooding in Cochiti Canyon, the devastation of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, and the remains of the Dixon Apple Orchards.

Activity Level: Very Strenuous, this hiking trip will require some bushwhacking along the Cochiti Canyon as a result of recent flooding, and includes a strenuous hike up a rocky trail to the mesa top, with an elevation gain of 700 feet. Total walking distance is approximately four miles.

Cost (per person): $105 includes transportation, guide honoraria and a picnic lunch.

Trip Registration: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR will be using a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 484 KB) by mail—postmarked no later than November 29, 2013. Do not send any trip payment with your lottery registration. A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by December 9, 2013. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration prior to lottery.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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