The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was a revolution against Spanish religious, economic, and political institutions imposed upon the pueblos. It is the only successful Native uprising against a colonizing power in North America, and resulted in the removal of Spanish from Pueblo lands for more than a decade. The Pueblo Revolt helped ensure the survival of Pueblo cultural traditions, land, language, religion, and sovereignty.
Po’pay of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo (formerly referred to as San Juan Pueblo) organized and led the revolt. A date for collective rebellion was set, and runners were sent to all the pueblos carrying knotted cords which represented the number of days until the day of uprising. Each morning, the Pueblo leadership untied one knot from the cord, and when the last knot was untied, it was the signal for them to act in unison.
The successful revolt kept the Spanish out of New Mexico for 12 years, and established a different power dynamic upon their return. You can read more about Po’pay and the Pueblo Revolt in this suggested reading from our Cultural Educator, Jon Ghahate (Laguna/Zuni).