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Abó - Salinas Pueblos History
Text from U.S National Park Service Salinas Pueblos Monument Guide - GPO: 1992-312-248/40146 Reprint 1992
   On an expedition to investigate the Salinas district in 1853, Major J.H. Carleton came upon Abó at dusk. "The tall ruins," he wrote, "standing there in solitude, had an aspect of sadness and gloom...The cold wind...appeared to roar and howl through the roofless pile like an angry demon." Carleton recognized the ruins as a Christian church, but didn't know that the "long heaps of stone, with here and there portions of walls projecting above the surrounding rubbish," marked the remains of a large pueblo. Located on a pass opening onto the Rio Grande Valley, Abó had carried on a lively trade with the people of the Acoma-Zuñi area, the Galisteo Basin near Santa Fe, and the plains. Salt, hides and pi&ntiulde;on nuts passed through this trading center. Springs provided water for households, crops and flocks of turkeys. Abó was a thriving community when the Spaniards first visited in 1581. Franciscans began converting Abó residents in 1622, and by the late 1620s the first church was finished. Later a second church was built with a sophisticated buttressing technique unusual in 17th-century New Mexico. It had an organ and trained choir. The good times did not last however. Battered by the same disasters that struck the other Salinas pueblos of Gran Quivira and Quarai, the pueblo people of Abó departed, sometime between 1672 and 1678, to take refuge in towns along the Rio Grande.