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Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Native American,New Mexico | No Comments
The following report was furnished by Mr. Frederick P. Midler, of Taos, New Mexico, February 20, 1891
I have just returned from the pueblo of Picuris. On the journey I and my horse came near freezing, The snow on the mountains and on the trail is 4.5 feet deep. No human being has passed through there this winter, The Indian land under cultivation at Picuris amounts to 555 acres. Out of this every family owns an average of about 15 acres. The sanitary condition can not be called good, as the statistics of the pueblo show that they are every year decreasing. They have never had any school at the pueblo, nor do they send their children to school unless they arc compelled to do so by the government, The main occupations of these Indians are farming in the summer and deer hunting in the winter, The pueblo is situated at the foot of the Picuris Mountain, about a mile west of the little town of Penasso, whence they get all their groceries and provisions from the sale of their grain.
The amount of land that could be cultivated by the Indians is 2,055 acres. They can also get a sufficient supply of water to irrigate all this land, but, not being at all industrious, they are satisfied with cultivating only the acreage necessary to produce grain or crops to sustain them; besides, they have not the tools or machinery necessary for cultivating more. The average of grain raised is about 30 bushels to the acre,
The Picuris people are about the same in all respects as those of Taos, only they are poorer in worldly goods. They greatly resemble the Taosans in form, features, habits, and customs. Deaths much exceed the births. The pueblo is small and poorly built of adobe, and not at all clean. While good and patient, these people have but little thrift.
The Picuris land grant was 17,461 acres.
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