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Piros Tribe

Piros Indians, Piro Tribe, Piro Indians. Formerly one of the principal Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, which in the early part of the 17th century comprised two divisions, one inhabiting the Rio Grande valley from the present town of San Marcial, Socorro County, northward to within about 50 miles of Albuquerque, where the Tigua settlements began; the other division, sometimes called Tompiros and Salineros, occupying an area east of the Rio Grande in the vicinity of the salt lagoons, or salinas, where they adjoined the eastern group of Tigua settlements on the south. The western or Rio Grande branch of the tribe was visited by members of Coronado’s expedition in 1540, by Chamuscado in 1580, by Espejo in 1583 (who found them in 10 villages along the river and in others near by), by Oraté in 1598, and by Benavides in 1621-30, the latter stating that they were in 14 pueblos along the river. Judging from the numerous villages of the province of Atripuy, mentioned by Oraté, which appears to have been the name applied to the range of the Rio Grande division of the Piros, Benavides’ number does not seem to be exaggerated. The establishment of missions among the Piros began in 1626. In that year the most southerly church and monastery in New Mexico were built at Senecú by Arteaga and Zuñiga (to whole are attributed the planting of the first vines and the manufacture of wine in this region), and during the same year missions at Sevilleta, Socorro, and probably also at Alamillo were founded. It is not improbable that the Piros of the Rio Grande,...

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