In the stones of the Salinas Valley pueblo ruins are faint echoes of the communities that lived there three
centuries ago. Before they abandoned the area in the 1600s, Pueblo Indians forged a stable agricultural society whose members
lived in apartment-like complexes and participated, through rule and ritual, in the cycles of nature. Two ancient southwestern
cultural traditions - the Ancestral Puebloans & Mogollon - overlapped in the Salinas Valley to produce the later societies at
Abó, Gran Quivira and Quarai. By the late 1100s,
as the southwestern cultures evolved, better agricultural techniques from
Mexico and the migration of Tompiro- and Tiwa-speaking peoples from the Rio Grande spurred the growth of settlements in the Salinas Valley.
Soon after Spain had conquered and colonized Mexico, tales of great wealth to the North drew explorers to New Mexico. Coronado's expedition in 1540 failed to turn up the fabled land of Quivira, although the name and story lingered on. In 1598 a party led by Juan de Oñate came to New Mexico to plant a permanent colony. He called salt, which was abundant in the Salinas "one of the four riches of New Mexico", but the other expected riches - especially mines - failed to materialize. Cultural conflict and natural disaster devastated the Salinas Pueblos. Apache raids and drought in the 1600s forced the abandonment of the pueblos, and inhabitants went to live with cultural relatives in other pueblos. In 1680, the pueblos north of Salinas revolted and expelled the Spaniards from New Mexico.
The Abó Ruins are a mile off U.S. Highway 60, 9 miles west of Mountainair, New Mexico.
Click here to see specific Abó Maps or choose "Detailed Maps" in the title bar above.
Text from U.S National Park Service Salinas Pueblos
Monument Guide - GPO: 1992-312-248/40146 Reprint 1992