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Quarai - Salinas Pueblos History
Text from U.S National Park Service Salinas Pueblos Monument Guide - GPO: 1992-312-248/40146 Reprint 1992
   Like Abó and Las Humanas (Gran Quivira), red-walled Quarai was a thriving pueblo when Oñate first approached it in 1598 to "accept" its oath of allegiance to Spain. Three of Quarai's Spanish priests were head of the New Mexico Inquisition during the 1600s, including Fray Estevan de Perea, Custodian of the Franciscan order in the Salinas Jurisdiction and called by one historian the "Father of the New Mexican Church." Despite the horrors associated with the word "Inquisition", records from hearings show that the early inquisitors, in New Mexico at least, were compassionate men usually capable of separating gossip from what the church regarded as serious transgressions. In one case, tensions between church and state reached a peak when Perea charged the alcalde mayor of Salinas with encouraging the native kachina dances. That case was dropped, but the alcalde's continued disruption at the mission prompted the Inquisition to banish him. Testimony recorded by Perea and others for trials at Mexico City provides a valuable picture of Spanish-Indian relationships in the 1600s. Spain's sophisticated legal system was applied (when it worked as intended) to protect the Indians' civil and property rights. And perhaps the Spanish colonists learned the patience and endurance that the Puebloa had practiced for hundreds of years.