A BRIEF HISTORY OF PICURIS PUEBLO
A Tiwa Indian Group in North Central New Mexico
By Albert H. Schroeder
Adams State College, Alamosa
Softcover, first edition 1974, 36 pages, illustrated
Picuris Pueblo, also known as San Lorenzo after the patron saint, is a Tiwa-speaking Indian village located 20 miles south of Taos. Picuris had a population of 3000 in 1600 but has shrunk to less than 400 at the present time. Picuris was spared contact with the first Spanish entry into the Southwest in A.D. 1540. Francisco Vasquez Coronado had entered New Mexico from Arizona and attacked Zuni and the southern Tewa, Tiwa, and Keres people living along the Rio Grande.
The second and third explorations came north from Mexico in the early 1580s but neither continued north of the Keres pueblos. The fourth entry, however, under Gaspar Cantaño de Sosa, ventured north in 1590 and made contact with Picuris. Once discovered, Picuris came under investigation of future expeditions.