Publication Date

Spring 4-9-2022


This dissertation uses comparative analysis of four nineteenth century Hispanic sites to examine the daily practices by Hispanic residents of acquiring and consuming material goods (1821–1912). Through the practice of consumption, Hispanics created and reinforced social relationships with the groups who bartered or sold them goods. In frontier New Mexico consumer relationships reflected important networks that may have played a role in the creation and maintenance of modern Hispanic identity after U.S. annexation. The nineteenth century was a key moment in the developing racialization of Hispanic identity in New Mexico, which makes it a vital period of study for archaeologists to understand the relationship between material culture and social identities.

I examined New Mexican ceramics, imported artifacts, and archival documents to create profiles of consumer practices at the four sites. The consumer profiles build an archaeological understanding of community relationships, consumption, and identity in New Mexico 1821–1912, and they demonstrate whether site residents prioritized local vecino identity or regional Hispanic identity in their consumption practices. Three different consumer profiles were identified. Two sites showed very local consumer profiles, one showed a regional profile with connections to the Santa Fe area, and one showed a regional profile with connections to Mexico. The consumer profiles did not show clear evidence that regional Hispanic ethnic identity shaped consumption practices at any of the sites. Instead, class and power played important roles in nineteenth century New Mexican Hispanic consumer practices, alongside the individual nexus of family and social history at each site.


New Mexico, Hispanic, vecino, nineteenth century, Latina/o, historic archaeology

Document Type




Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Patricia L. Crown

Second Committee Member

James L. Boone

Third Committee Member

Ronda Brulotte

Fourth Committee Member

Bonnie J. Clark