Why Did Po'pay Lead a Rebellion Against the Spanish?


Quick Answer

The San Juan (Ohkay Owingeh) Pueblo Indian, Po'pay (or Popé), led the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish in 1680 in order to drive them away, following his persecution for "sorcery" in 1675. For many years, agents of the Spanish occupation had sought to control every aspect of the Pueblos' lives, threatening dissenters with torture and death.

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Full Answer

One of the key means of control by the Spaniards had been to forcibly convert Pueblo Indians to Christianity.

The time for the revolt was communicated among Pueblo leaders via a system of messages coded in knots (each knot representing a day before attacks were to begin).

Despite the Spanish regaining their control of Pueblo country 12 years later, they were henceforth reluctant to impose their own religious and cultural ideals upon the locals.

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