La Canoa Legacy Talks - The Power and Place of the Apachería in Colonial New Mexico


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This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Dr. Daniel Webb examines the history of the diverse population of Athapaskan-speaking peoples identified as Apache (Ndé) in the colonial archives of northern New Spain. He traces the different stages of their migration and territorial expansion across the vast geographical expanse known as the Apachería (the Apaches’ ancestral homelands), illustrating their relations with other sovereign Indian nations and Hispano settlers, and the policies that Spain introduced in the eighteenth century to restrict their mobility. Through analysis of a wide range of historical materials, including sources from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico and the Archivo General de la Nación de México, Webb’s research highlights the cultural practices and the environmental conditions that allowed the diverse Apache bands, clans and family lineages to flourish in the periphery of colonial New Mexico. Paradoxically, this contributed to the decline of tribal sovereignty in the nineteenth century.


Daniel Webb (University of Chicago, Ph.D. 2017) is a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies. He is an early American historian with specializations in Native American, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and Latino/a history. His research has been supported by the John Carter Brown Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

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