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Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Native American,New Mexico | No Comments
Cochiti has an extremely favorable site. It times the river at a height of 95 feet and is surrounded on 3 sides by tillable plains. The buildings in the town, 50 in number, are generally separated, not more than 3 dwellings being contiguous. The larger portion are of 1 story. Bight Mexican families dwell here and fraternize with the Indians. As long ago as 1820 the Mexicans acquired land here. They are regarded as under the jurisdiction of the pueblo, and perform communal work upon irrigating ditches and roads by command of the governor of the tribe. This community has made several removes since the beginning of the seventeenth century. The town was abandoned in 1681 on the approach of Don de Otermin with a small force, the tribe returning to the mesa of Portero Viejo, there constructing a new pueblo. Don Diego de Vargas 13 years after took this new pueblo by surprise and compelled the Cochitinos to resettle on their old site. In June of 1696, after participating in the uprising of the Jemez, Tehaas, Taos, and other tribes, they fled to the highest mountains; but through negotiations with the Spaniards, they again occupied the town of Rio Grande. Here they remained under the surveillance of Spanish and Mexican regiments unti11846, and here they continue to the present time.
The arroyo De la Peralta joins the river just above the town, its breadth giving evidence of large volumes of water during the spring freshets. It can not be counted upon for irrigation. Cochiti has no orchards, and no trees are to be seen here save the cottonwoods and willows on the sandy island of the river. South of the town the island is clear, and affords fine pasture, which is held in common for all animals. Upon this island small patches of 1.5 to 9 acres are planted in corn. Adobe houses of a single room are found where land is farmed at a distance from the pueblo. A number of incidents were cited by the governor showing, the various ways in which these houses had been gotten by Mexican neighbors. The houses of the town are better built and more healthful than in many pueblos. Paneled doors, window sashes, and glass are generally used. Open antechambers for sleeping are noted. This is the most northern pueblo in which are to be seen inclosures, or yards, in front of houses. These are called corrals, and are used as such for horses in waiting for one or two hours. The fences are formed of cedar trunks driven in the earth at close intervals and bound together with telegraph wire, thongs of leather, and horsehair. The plaza is unusually large and the streets wide. The Catholic Church is in good repair, the Mexican contingent taking a greater interest than the Indians in its ceremonials. The grant of Cochiti is 24,266 acres.
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