You are here:

U.S. History/What Caused The Pueblo Revolt


Did Pueblos revolt to save their traditions? Describe the specific similarities and differences between the religious ideas of the Pueblo, and the religious ideas of the Spanish.
How did these religious differences cause the rebellion?

Protecting traditions was part of the reason.  I would use the term culture rather than tradition, which implies simply maintaining old habits or practices.  This was more protecting their religion, cultural practices, etc.

The Pueblo Religion was primarily a worship of nature.  The Pueblo gods, Father and Earth Mother had two sons - the War Gods - who were believed to have had magical powers. The Sky Serpent was the god who brought rain. The Spider Woman was the goddess of weaving. There were many other gods as well.

The religion also focuses on Kachinas, which were thought to be strong spirits that controlled nature. There were over 300 different Kachinas.  The Pueblo prayed to the spirits for help in their daily life and gave thanks to the Kachinas for their families, their homes, their crops, and their health.

In general terms this is not terribly different from Spanish Catholicism, which holds that there is an almighty God who can control nature and who can bring about ease or wrath, rain or drought.  God was also at war with the Devil over the control of the earth.  Catholics also held a practice of praying to any one of hundreds of saints who were thought to act as intermediaries to God and would help protect their families, their homes, their crops, and their health.

All those very general similarities aside, the Spanish believed their religion to be the one truthful religion for all people, and that opposing religions were heretical and dangerous.  Those practicing other religions had to be converted, expelled or killed.  This meant there was little room for compromise or blending the two religions.  Religion was used as as form of cultural imperialism over the Pueblo, which many natives greatly resented.

- Mike  

U.S. History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

©2017 All rights reserved.