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Piro Pueblo Indians

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Piro Pueblo Indians. Significance of Piro unknown. Also called:

Piro Pueblo Connections. They were a division of the Tanoan linguistic family, which in turn is a part of the Kiowa-Tanoan stock.

Piro Pueblo Location. In the early part of the seventeenth century the Piro 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 Tiwa settlements began; and the other, 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 Tiwa settlements on the south.

Piro Pueblos

Following are names of deserted pueblos near the lower Rio Grande which were also in all probability occupied by the Piro:

The following deserted pueblos were inhabited either by the Piro or the Tiwa:

All the above pueblos not definitely located were probably situated in the Salinas in the vicinity of Abe.

Piro Pueblo History. The western or Rio Grande branch of the Piro was visited by members of Coronado’s Expedition in 1540, by Chamuscado in 1580, by Espejo in 1583, by Onate in 1598, and by Benavides in 1621-30. The establishment of missionaries among them began in 1626, and the efforts of the monks combined with the threats of Apache raids to induce the Indians to concentrate into a smaller number of towns. The first actual mission work among the Piros of the Salinas began in 1629 and was prosecuted rapidly, but before the Pueblo rebellion of 1680 Apache raids had become so numerous that all of the villages of the Salinas region and Senecu on the Rio Grande were abandoned. The Piro were not invited to take part in the great rebellion and when Governor Otermin retreated to El Paso nearly all of them joined him, while the few who remained subse quently scattered. Those who accompanied the governor were settled at Senecu del Sur and Socorro del Sur, where their descendants became largely Mexicanized.

Piro Pueblo Population. The Piro population was estimated at 9,000 early in the sixteenth century, but is now about 60. (See Tiwa Pueblo Indians)