MOBILE GROUP ENCAMPMENTS AROUND THE SALINAS PUEBLOS
THE MATERIAL ON THIS PAGE IS COPYRIGHTED AND SHOULD BE APPROPRIATELY CITED (C) 2007-2008, Deni Seymour
Why is it that mobile group structures have not been previously identified? One reason is that researchers have approached their discovery
using inappropriate expectations. In many cases they are expecting conical tipi rings, as are common on the plains. While some tipi rings
are known from eastern New Mexico many more structural features are represented as the bases of wickiups, or smaller dome-shaped
hide-covered or "straw huts." The footprint of many of these are so small that people have difficulty believing they are cultural, and even
more difficulty believing they are structural. But they are. Read about mobile group structures after finishing this page.
Some ask how can you tell the difference between structures of mobile Puebloans. The following figure illustrates this point rather directly.
The main criterion to remember is that most Puebloan structural residential features are rectilinear, whereas those made by mobile groups
tend to be curvilinear. The walls of Puebloan structures tend to be made of coursed layers of stone or upright slabs that are embedded in
the ground. Sometimes these are shaped. Mobile groups simply sacked or pushed rocks together, sometimes even placing just a couple of
stones between naturally occurring outcrops to improve an already suitable space. Stones were not coursed and not shaped.
Instead of tipi rings made with clearly out-of-place cobbles or boulders, wickiup rings take any of a number of
forms. One reason for this is that the structural features are often set up in between boulders, on slopes, in rocky
areas, to take advantage of the terrain. Thus one is more likely to see a clearing or a few stacked rocks than an
alignment, although alignments are known.
This page (below) shows some of the mobile group structures found around many of the pueblos in the
Salinas area. Another page shows those that are known from around some of the Galisteo Basin Pueblos. To
learn what the features in these peripheral areas (around the pueblos) look like that are not related to the
mobile groups clink the link below. That link shows what a variety of structural and non-structural Puebloan
features look like that occur in these outlying areas.