United States or Singapore ? Vote for the TOP Country of the Week !


There was the mysterious apartment; it was not really a temple, but a sort of public hall and general lounging place; such rooms exist in the Spanish-speaking pueblos of Zuni and Laguna, and are there called estufas. The explorers soon discovered that the only entrance into the estufa was by a trapdoor and a ladder.

From Castañeda's narrative of the Coronado expedition it appears that in the middle of the sixteenth century the eastern pueblos had both square and round estufas or kivas, and that these kivas belonged to the men while the rooms of the pueblo were in the possession of the women.

We call the head man of the pueblo the governor, but the Spanish know him as a cacique. Associated with him are the old men mayores, or council; and this council of wise old men enters so intimately into the lives of the people that it advises the young men as to marriage. We have preachers in our religious ranks. The Pueblos have proclaimers who harangue from the housetops, or estufas.

These estufas, which are used as places of council, and for the performance of their religious rites, are still found at all the present occupied pueblos in New Mexico. There are six at Taos, three at each house, and they are partly sunk in the ground by an excavation. They are entered through a trap-doorway in the roof, the descent being by a ladder.

What do you think they did? Fill up the underground estufas and hang their heads in shame among men? Then, you don't know the Indian! You may break his neck; but you can't bend it. The very first thing they did was to gather their young warriors in the estufas. Picture that scene to yourself, too! An old rain priest at San Ildefonso, through the kindness of Dr.

"The circular estufas," Lieutenant Simpson remarks, "of which there are six in number, have a greater depth than any we have seen, and differ from them also in exhibiting more stories, one of them certainly showing two, and possibly three, the lowest one appearing to be almost covered up with debris." Jackson's visit he was unable to find it.

There are still in places three stories visible. The walls are of evenly broken parallelopipeds of very friable pumice-stone, and the village forms the usual quadrangles. In the centre is a large square; and no fewer than six depressions indicate that the Pueblos had at one time as many as six circular subterranean estufas.

Sacred meal is in or about all of them, and all stand for so many intercessors praying for the good of the people, giving thanks in the name of the people and offering their vows in token of gratitude. Similar to this estufa of the Corn clan are to-day all the other estufas on the Tyuonyi. They contain similar pictures, and similar objects are grouped on the floors in front of them.

The kivas, or estufas as they formerly were called, are sacred chambers in which the civil and religious affairs of the tribe are transacted, and they also form a place of resort, or club, as it were, for the men. Their functions are many and varied, but as this subject has already been discussed at length it need not be enlarged upon here.

The subject bound under fearful oath of secrecy was nothing more nor less than the total extermination of every white man, woman and child north of the Rio Grande. Some unwise governor Trevino, I think it was had issued an edict in 1675 forbidding the pueblos to hold their secret lodges in the estufas. Picture the situation to yourself!