For the last two days I have been based in Abiquiu where I met a variety of locals who were really open in sharing some of their personal memories and how these fit into the wider narrative of Abiquiu and its complex history. Abiquiu was the place from where Antonio Armijo´s expedition across the Old Spanish Trail started on the 7th November of 1829.
It is believed that this area was populated by Native Americans since the eleven century. The first Spanish settlers established here during the first half of the eighteen century, although sometimes they had to abandon their land grants because of the continuous raids made by nomadic Native Americans. Spanish Governor Tomás Vélez Cachupín made a historic decision in 1754 by granting a `pueblo league´to 34 Genizaro families, hoping that these families could establish a defensive position to protect the Hispanic communities from other attacks, as Cachupín believed that they were the best Indian fighters. When peace finally came to the area the Pueblo became an important trading center for a large area of the Southwest. The Genizaros of Abiquiu were of mixed descent including Hopi, Plains Indians and Pueblo that were raised within the Hispanic culture, speaking Spanish and being Christianised. They were considered an Indian pueblo by the Spanish and the Mexican governments, but today, still many residents believe that a portion of their identity was overlooked when they were recognised by the United States government as an Hispanic community rather than as a Native American pueblo.
I had the opportunity to interview Pueblo Historian, David López, who gave us an enriching tour around Abiquiu and explained some of the most relevant events in the area. I will be posting his interview soon.