Juan de Oñate

Spanish Conquistador, explorer, and colonial governor

Don Juan de Oñate (1550–1626) was a Spanish conquistador. He was a colonial governor in New Spain. He explored the Great Plains and Northwest regions. He is infamous for the Acoma Massacre (1599) in New Mexico. He and other Spaniards cruelly attacked and destroyed the Acoma Pueblo. Many of the Pueblo people were enslaved or had one leg removed.[1] Some new research indicates that it may have just been toes removed.[2]

Statue of Oñate on a horse.

Oñate is controversial today in New Mexico and the United States. The foot of an Oñate statue was removed in New Mexico. There have been protests about a new statue in Texas.[3][4]


  1. "Oñate, Juan de". New Mexico Office of the State Historian. Archived from the original on 2011-09-10. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  2. "An accurate accounting of the history of Oñate - Albuquerque Journal". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  3. "400 years later, Acoma protests Spanish cruelty - Timeline - Native Voices". www.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  4. Montgomery, Molly (June 15, 2020). "County Takes Down Oñate Monument". Rio-Grande-Sun.