Santa Fe Fiesta turns page on tribute to conquistadors

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 5:41 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. – Civic leaders in New Mexico’s capital city are turning the page on a grinding dispute over the annual re-enactment of a 17th century conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe after a Native American revolt.

The controversial pageant was being replaced Friday by new gestures of reconciliation at Santa Fe’s autumn festival that starts with Catholic Mass and a performance by Indian Pueblo dancers.

Public statues and tributes to early Spanish conquerors have encountered mounting criticism tied to the brutal treatment of American Indians centuries ago by Spanish soldiers and missionaries, as activists draw parallels to the controversy over Confederate monuments.

The Santa Fe Fiesta previously included a depiction of the re-entry of conquistador Don Diego de Vargas into Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.