Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
The Tiwa- and Tompiro-speaking pueblos in
Central New Mexico, Quarai, Abó, and Gran Quivira, blended
Mogollo and Ancestral Puebloan cultural features. The Salinas Valley,
situated between the Rio Grande populations and the Plains Indian,
served as a major trade center. Three large pueblos became focii
in the Catholic missionization efforts of the Spanish conquerors
during the 1600's. The Salinas District was the easternmost of mission
districts in Nuevo Mexico. Fray Alonso de Benavides reported "fourteen
of fifteen pueblos in the area, which must have more than 10,000
mission ruins of the "pueblos de las
stand as stark reminders of the imposed social change to previous
traditions. By the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, construction had ended after
a long span of once-thriving prehistoric and early historic occupation
of the numerous Native communities in the area.
National Parks Ranger Marcus Taylor greeting visitors outside
the Quarai Ruins Museum
Visitor Center. The Quarai Mission is the most intact and restored
of the three large churches.
Abó Ruins includes the Spanish mission church and convent
ruins, a rock art trail,
prehistoric and historic pueblo ruins, Spanish
reoccupation ruins, and a Visitor Center.
While the Visitor Center closes, the area is not gated after the closing
At Gran Quivira, unlike the red sandstone at Abó and Quarai,
the local stone is limestone.
Also, the larger of the two churches at Gran Quivira was never completed.
Gran Quivira is also distinguished by the incredible ancient artifacts
Three unique canteens (upper right) highlight the pottery display.
Locations: The National Parks Service maintains a Visitor
Center in Mountainair, New Mexico, central to the three sites. Quarai
is located north of Mountainair and southeast of Estania, on the outkirts
of Punta de Agua. Ao is just off US highway 60 west of Mountainair,
southeast of Belen and northeast of Socorro. Gran Quivira is located
between Mountainair and Carrizozo just of NM highway 55, 25 miles from
Salinas Ruins Placemarks
NPS Website: Salinas Pueblo Missions National