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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeologists, historians, and geographers link Hispano or vecino ethnogenesis in the late eighteenth century to the occupation of a land base, while at the heart of modern Nuevomexicano identity formation is the paradoxical condition of being simultaneously dispossessed and place-based. The modern Hispano ethnoscape combines themes of land loss, displacement, and a deep longing to remain on the land, captured by the term querencia, which refers both to place and love of place. The social imaginary of a commons is central to contemporary land grant and acequia activists—long lost to land grant heirs, but still operative as a principle of water governance among community irrigation associations. Access to and control over a water source remains a key feature of Hispano as well as Pueblo traditional adaptations and modern place-based identities.

Keywords: querencia, land grant, Pueblo, activism, acequias, water

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