When we read the journals of past explorers we imagine which routes they might have taken, where they rested for lunch, and
where they laid their saddle blankets for the evening's rest. The trail they chose and where they stayed influenced how they
experienced the landscape, what fears they had regarding ambush from hostile Jocome, Jano, and Apaches, as well as the trials
and hardships they faced with the thorny cacti and vegetation (such as mesquite and acacia), rough rocky terrain, and hazards
including steep cliffs, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and scorpions. The specific route they took and the precise places they stayed
also provide a link to the elusive past, allowing us to reach back in time and ponder the man, his motives, his trials, and those of the
people he encountered along the way.
Thirty years ago I began walking in Kino's footsteps, ascertaining his route, and visiting the ancient and ruined villages where he
greeted and preached to the Sobaipuri O'odham residents. Using Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino's 17th and early 18th
century diaries, reports, and maps as clues, I traversed the extensive terrain, across arroyos and up steep cobble-strewn slopes in
an effort to find the locations he visited on the ground. I began on the San Pedro River and my work was soon rewarded by the
discovery of the site that was once called Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea. That discovery was in 1985. Since then I have found and
visited more than 80 Sobaipuri sites, places where the indigenous residence lived their daily lives, fought to defend their riparian
oasis, and were known as influential leaders for thousands of miles. These old Sobaipuri O'odham village locations are on the San
Pedro, Santa Cruz, Gila, and Babocomari rivers and on Sonoita and Aravaipa creeks. All of these river valleys were the homelands
and cultural landscapes of the Sobaipuri O'odham, who were an Akimel or River O'odham and ancestors of the Wa:k O'odham.
These were the people Kino referred to variably as the Pima or Sobaipuri, the latter being a subset of the former, and Pima being a
historic rendition of the people who have known themselves as the O'odham or the People from time immemorial. It is likely that
Sobaipuri is an O'odham word for this group that resided on the eastern margin of O'odham territory within the Upper Pimería or
This page takes you on an adventure down the path walked by this venerable Jesuit priest and his usual military escort Captain Juan
Mateo Manje in the 1690s and first decade of the 1700s. In this case, the journey is along the San Pedro. In presenting the places
he visited and the people he met I hope to convey something about the man and the land. From the images provided,
on-the-ground observations, and results of archaeological work, including excavations, we can now also see what they meant in
their 300-year-old descriptions when they visited these places.
IN KINO'S FOOTSTEPS
(down the San Pedro)
Soon after leaving the last Sobaipuri O'odham village Kino would have encountered the Gila River:
"After having gone six leagues, we came to the place where this river joins with the great Jila River. The Jila
takes its rise to the south of the Peñol de Acoma, a town in New Mexico, and it runs some distance in the same
direction…Taking a refreshment of sweets, we continued to the west by the banks of the river."
More often, when Manje and Kino reached the area of the confluence of the San Pedro with the Gila River they
diverted their path, taking a shortcut that crossed a bit of non-riverine terrain over to intersect with the Gila and
then go on to the Gila River O'odham settlements. Manje tells us why they would take this path stating:
"Because of the information given us by the Sobaipuri guides who accompanied us, to the effect that it was
impossible to travel over the level terrain (vega) along the river due to the numerous miry stretches
(atascaderos) formed there, we were led over another road cleared only in part and little used, through
mountainous country (de tierra doblada)"
They were led along this trans-mountain route by their O'odham guides along a poor but existing path between
valleys. Archaeological and historical research indicates however that Kino and Manje took this route because
the area was marshy along the river and thick with vegetation. They also diverted their route to shorten the
journey and since there were no Sobaipuri settlements that far north there was no reason to continue to follow
the San Pedro. They also took this shortcut because the area was occupied by hostile Jocome, allies of the
Apache. Recent research has shown that there is a cluster of Jocome sites in this area from approximately
between Dudleyville and the confluence, indicating that this was outside Sobaipuri O'odham territory at this time
and likely more dangerous for travel.
Kino went on from here to the Gila River settlements and either on to the Yuma area and the Colorado River or
turned south on the Santa Cruz River. But these are for another time.
The narrows is indeed formed by a most distinctive set of crags and unlike many of the other narrows along this
river, the constriction of the Redington Narrows extends for some distance, about a half league, or about 1.5
miles. After being pinched by volcanic extrusions the valley expands downstream into a broad and fertile valley,
just as Manje described. This treacherous narrows was of concern to these military men, being a likely place for
an ambush, which is one reason it was described so clearly. Here the trail was probably on the west side of the
river, as it was 83 years later when the engineer Geronimo de la Rocha passed through in 1780.
This narrows was seemingly the dividing line between Sobaipuri political entities, those to the south within Coro's
jurisdiction, and those to the north under Humari's leadership. The first village to the north was a small one,
surprisingly given the fertility and expansiveness of the valley.
After this narrows Kino came to a Sobaipuri village called Cusac. We have surveyed this area and found four
Sobaipuri villages in the zone that is consistent with the distance north from the narrows. Two are on the correct
side of the river, and one of these is large enough to qualify as the Kino period Cusac and is consistent with
league distances. Chronometric dates that will verify this inference as to identity are still pending.
The other villages are probably earlier and later versions of the same community. We know from the ethnographic
record that Sobaipuri villages drifted or moved along the river segment where their canals and fields were
located. Only certain segments of the rivers were suitable for settlement but in those segments that were
appropriate, their villages moved every 10 or 20 years, back and forth to either side and up and down the river.
This pattern has been confirmed with archaeological research where numerous villages have been identified in
each river segment, bordering where their fields and canals were established. Chronometric dates confirm
staggered occupations. The most important locations were resettled again repeatedly through the years.
The Cusac village was described by Manje:
"And having gone 2 leagues to the north of the river downstream we arrived at the ranchería called Cusac of 20 houses
and 70 souls. We were greeted with benevolence presenting large gourd containers (jícaras grandes) of cooked
squash, beans, pinole, that are their best foods, and gifts, to which I returned other gifts and gave them some knowledge
of God and of His Holy Law"
The rock outline shown to the left is the foundation for one of these houses.
The arrowhead above was probably used by warriors to protect themselves from hostile enemies, which in this area were
close, both in the nearby mountains and living along the river to the north and south. In fact, a couple of these Jocome
settlements were in the vicinity of Cusac. Chronometric dates will indicate if these are contemporaneous settlements,
perhaps indicating that the mobile Jocome visited the Cusac villagers.
Evidence of this village is ample to indicate the presence of a Sobaipuri site the size of the village Manje described.
Rock outlines representing house foundations are telltale signs, as are the arrowheads, Whetstone Plain pottery, and
Olivella shell beads. The arrowheads might have been used by warriors to protect themselves from hostile enemies,
which in this area were close by, both in the nearby mountains and living along the river to the north and south. Relations
between the Sobaipuri O'odham and these other groups varied through time and differed between groups. In fact, a
couple of Jocome settlements were in the vicinity of Cusac, as indicated by the archaeological remains of their activities.
Chronometric dates will indicate if these are contemporaneous settlements, perhaps indicating that the mobile Jocome
visited the Cusac villagers. Their tools and tool fragments are highly representative of these mobile peoples, the
Jocome. Their sites have been found all along the river and in the mountains and foothills. These are from a Jocome
site near Cusac:
Traveling north from here Kino and Manje entered what is perhaps the most distinctive portion of the
river, allowing us to be certain as to where they were geographically without the aid of archaeological
evidence of a village. Manje's description of this part of the valley is accurate and telling, and allows us
to know exactly where they were because this area is so distinctive:
"we continued heading down river from the place Captain Francisco Ramirez returned...alleging that
there are many narrows because of two crags that then narrows the river for about a half league, as we
were told by the sergeant Juan Baptista de Escalante, who accompanied him then, and now is on this
journey, and passing that brief narrowness it expands into a spacious and extensive valley."
There was concern among the Spaniards as to whether the Sobaipuri were in collusion
with the Jocome, Jano, and other mobile people including the Apaches, and at times
they were (see Jocome and Jano web page). Other times they were at war with them.
Eventually, a forced alliance with the Spanish established a riff between the Sobaipuri
and their mobile neighbors causing much bloodshed and the eventual movement of
most (but not all) of the Sobaipuri out of the valley.
Kino tended to arrive at the San Pedro by an overland route through the Sonoita or San Rafael valleys. These were
routes long used by local residents and travelers from distant lands. In fact, some people think Fray Marcos de Niza
passed through the San Rafael Valley on his way to Cibola in 1539. When Kino traveled through the Sonoita Valley he
visited the Sobaipuri O'odham who lived in two villages that he called: St Geronimo and Los Reyes del Sonoidag (see
Sonoita Creek Sobaipuri web page). A warm spring in the area was the focus of St Geronimo's occupation and served
as a source for irrigation water and for centuries later as a stopping place along the trail between river valleys. Los
Reyes del Sonoidag took advantage of the one other place in this where there was accessible water on the surface.
Either of these two routes to the San Pedro would take Kino down the Babocomari River, which flows into the San Pedro
near Fairbank, Arizona. Along the Babocomari he would have likely visited Headman El Taravilla's village (The Prattler)
village and then moved on east to the confluence with the San Pedro. Here he would have encountered the Sobaipuri
O'odham residents of Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea (see Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea web page) and just downriver he
would have visited the residents of the river's principal village of Quiburi (see Quiburi web page).
Kino also seemingly sometimes came overland to the San Pedro from the Wa:k settlement at San Xavier del Bac and
the Tucson area Sobaipuri villages (San Agustin del Oyaut and San Cosme del Tucson) following the approximate route
of Interstate 10; but this was not his preferred route. This may have been the way he came in 1692 when he first visited
Quiburi and San Salvador del Baicatcan, under Headman Coro's jurisdiction. Kino mentions these two places in his
Favores Celestiales but his map also shows the two villages at the headwaters of the San Pedro suggesting that he may
have traveled much of the length of the river.
Santa Cruz was the name Kino gave to a place that in O'odham was called something like Gaybanipitea. The village did
not obtain this specific indigenous name until after the 1698 battle. The word means Where Crow Shat and likely derives
from the fact that crows are carrion eaters and likely feasted on the bodies of the many fallen enemy in the aftermath of
this battle at the village. As was the practice at the time, the Saint's name (Santa Cruz) was appended to the indigenous
name and so the village became known as Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea (Holy Cross of Where Crow Shat).
Captain Juan Mateo Manje who often accompanied Kino on his journeys described Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea in 1697
"It was located on a hill west of the river which takes its rise in the plains of Terrenate and runs to the north. This is a
valley of good agricultural lands with ditches for irrigation. The natives gather sufficient supplies, some of which they
gave us. We were received in an adobe house, with beams and a flat roof, which had been built previously for the
missionary they asked for. They take care of about 100 cows, given to them by the father. We counted 25 houses and
about 100 persons."
We excavated this adobe-walled structure, revealing that it had three rooms.
When the Spanish military visited these locations on the frontier of the Colonial empire they would have camped at least a
couple hundred yards from the Sobaipuri village, so as not to interfere and so their horses would not ruin their fields.
Moreover, it was military strategy to encamp in a distinct location for defensive purposes and to avoid treachery. This
procedure was followed by General (Captain) Juan Fernández de la Fuente, Captain of Janos presidio, during a 1695
visit to Quiburi:
It was noon on September 13 when the full army was greeted by Chief Coro of the Sobaipuri village of Quiburi. Fuente
ordered all the soldiers and Indian allies to camp just beyond Quiburi so the men and animals would not destroy the crops
planted in the floodplain of the Rio Terrenate (San Pedro)."
Yet when Kino and Manje came with a smaller group, and an objective that was not specifically militarily oriented, they
stayed as guests within the O'odham villages. In the south, as at Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea and Quiburi, they stayed in
an adobe-walled structure, whereas to the north the residents placed the visitors in an over-sized hut made in the same
way as their residential houses. The adobes served as places to quarter visitors, as council houses, and defensive
structures and Kino also thought of them as places to say mass. Kino and Manje would have slept directly on the floor. In
describing Kino after his death his successor Padre Luís Velarde noted: "He was so austere that he never took wine
except to celebrate mass, nor had any other bed than the sweat blankets of his horse for a mattress, and two Indian
blankets [for a cover]." Further clarity is provided when Velarde describes his death, saying: "He died as he had lived, with
extreme humility and poverty. In token of this, during his last illness he did not undress. His deathbed, as his bed had
always been, consisted of two calfskins for a mattress, two blankets such as the Indians use for covers, and a
pack-saddle for a pillow."
It was regional protocol at the time to warn villages of one's arrival and friendly intent. Kino and Manje would send runners
ahead to tell the villagers of their position and expected arrival date. Their runners would first encounter people out
hunting, sentinels looking for intruders, or farmers tending their fields. These people would come forward to greet the
travelers, while others ran back to the village to prepare the community for visitors. Kino and Manje had a warm
relationship with the Sobaipuri O'odham. The Sobaipuri O'odham welcomed these Europeans in the traditional manner by
going out to greet them on the trail and providing a feast and dance while they were there. Kino was welcomed with the
fanfare appropriate for Christians, which meant that they swept the roads and lined up without weapons while holding
fronds to form an archway of shrubbery. The Sobaipuri O'odham also provided abundant food for the Europeans' journey
when the visitors left. Kino mentions their generosity and the abundance of food:
"Afterward, in seven or eight large rancherías we found more than two thousand souls, all very friendly and industrious
Indians, who, on hearing the Word of God and receiving good treatment offered us many little ones to baptize. We gave
many staffs of justices, governors, and captains. In all parts they gave us many of their eatables, and always there were
provisions enough and to spare, without the soldiers having brought them from the presidio for so long a journey."
The feast and dance were an important part of celebrating the arrival of guests. The Sobaipuri also danced after a
successful war campaign. In 1697 Kino described a ceremony where the Spaniards danced along with the Sobaipuri in
tribute to a successful campaign against the enemy:
"I arrived at Quiburi with Captain Juan Matheo Manje, my servants, and more than sixty horses and mules, intending to
penetrate to the last Sobaipuris…We found the Pima natives of Quiburi very jovial and very friendly. They were dancing
over scalps and the spoils of fifteen enemies, Hocomes and Janos, whom they had killed a few days before. This was so
pleasing to us that the Señor Captain Christobal Martin Bernal, the Senor alferez, the sergeant, and many others, entered
the circle and danced merrily in company with the natives."
Of this celebration Manje notes:
"The chief celebrated our arrival by giving a dance in a place arranged in circular form. Hanging from a high pole in the
center were 13 scalps, bows, arrows and other spoils taken from the many Apache enemies who they had slain."
"In all the settlements the Indians celebrated the triumph against the enemies with dances. We confirmed the fact that the
nation is friendly to the Spaniards and opposed to the enemies, with whom it was believed they were allied in the raids to
the missions and to the ranches of the Spaniards. Our soldiers gladly joined in the dance."
Kino probably would not have participated in these celebrations. Later priests made it clear that they viewed these as
pagan celebrations and events that conjured the devil. We cannot know what Kino thought of these rituals but when he
was present he likely faded into the background, perhaps praying in the shadows just beyond the blaze of the fire, and
allowed the locals to celebrate their success. It is unlikely that Kino tried to suppress these ceremonies because unlike
those who came after him, Kino's approach was gentle, determined but sensitive, and he was set on a course for the long
term and the fulfillment of a much larger vision. Moreover, the events like this were truly joyous occasions for all involved.
There was reason for the Europeans to rejoice because ultimately the pleasure that resulted from such success bred
future efforts against the enemy. In turn this meant that Kino's charges were now within the church's fold and would be
protected from future massacres and crop destruction by the sometimes hasty and ill-advised Spanish officers. The
military participants, such as Manje, would have been joyous over the clear evidence of the Sobaipuri alliance with the
Spaniards and their enemy status against the Jocome, Jano, Apaches, and others.
Kino was ever protective of his Piman neophytes, defending them against slander and advocating in ways that would
ensure their safety. He wrote repeatedly of their innocence against claims of theft or treachery, their friendliness to he and
his companions, and their faithfulness and devotion to the Spanish cause:
"Nor did we ever find the least trace of the droves of horses which so falsely had been charged to these innocent
Sobaipuris. For it was not they who had stolen them, but the hostile Jocomes, Xanos, etc., a vindication as worthy of
being known as it is plainly set forth in the two long relations of the two captains who went on this expedition."
From Quiburi they traveled north along the river, though to shorten their route they likely avoided the bends in the river
course as later travelers also did. This would have reduced their travel time. Kino tended to travel long distances each
day, resting at mid day, sometimes taking a siesta at a Sobaipuri village in an adobe-walled structure they built for
visitor. Reconstructing his trips, he many times and routinely traveled 30 miles a day. His commitment is conveyed in an
account from May 1700 where he traveled 75 miles or more overnight in an effort to save a "poor Indian" that was
scheduled to die in the morning. This tells us much about him as a person, as most of his successors would have
deemed this impossible and the death a foregone conclusion.
North from Quiburi the travelers tended to rest at Los Alamos, which at this time was just a paraje or camping location,
not a Sobaipuri village. There was a crossing here so they may have walked up the opposite side of the river. The
location was shady and cool owing to the thick stands of Alamos or Cottonwoods and pools of water that accumulated
before the narrows. The narrows formed here as a result of e bedrock pinching together, which slowed the water
upstream, forming a cienega that was apparently drained during the 1887 earthquake. Downstream or north of this
narrows the water came to the surface again and was tapped for canals by later O'odham who built villages here
(see Tres Alamos page). In modern conceptions, this Tres Alamos Narrows divides the middle from the lower San
Pedro and is a named location on topographic maps.
Kino and Manje had to travel quite some distance to the north until they came to the next village downstream.
This was Baicatcan and the nearby San Marcos (see Taylor site web page). This was a sparsely inhabited
segment of the river owing to river characteristics that made it less ideal for farming along large portions. In
1697 Manje tells us that this and another couple of settlements had been abandoned the year before owing to
hostilities with other settlements to the north. He meant the event mentioned also by Martín where Coro had
sent a relative on his behalf of his business and they had killed him. This stretch was likely the northern edge
of settlements within Coro's political sphere.
Kino and Manje do not disclose how far they went before reaching the next village, although Martin indicates that it was a
half league. This next settlement was called Muyva which in O'odham may be Mu'i Vavhia or Many Wells. Given our
discoveries of Sobaipuri villages to the south, Muyva is almost certainly at the location of Alder Wash Ruin, a Sobaipuri
site discovered and excavated in the 1980s (see Alder Wash Ruin page). Of this village Manje noted in 1697:
"We arrived at a settlement called Muyva, whose heathen Indians welcomed us with crosses and swept roads. After
having greeted and talked to them we continued to the north through the valley and down the river."
Alder Wash Ruin is a Sobaipuri settlement on top of a much more extensive prehistoric site. One the next ridge to the
south is evidence of a mobile group encampment. While we cannot tell whether this mobile encampment is
contemporaneous with the Muyva occupation at Alder Wash Ruin, it is possible to suggest that perhaps these were friend
Jocome that Manje and Kino mentioned as being friendly with these northern settlements. In one instance Headman Coro
suggested that the northern settlements were communicating with the enemy Jocomes. In another at Ojío a Sobaipuri
leader came from an eastern valley and responding to questions said that they had lived with some of the Jocome.
A bit further north or downstream Kino and Manje visited a location called Jiapsi. In O'odham this is probably
Hiashpik which means Place That Has Been Sanded Up." With regard to this place, Manje said:
"we continue to the north through the valley and river, below/downstream, and in 2 leagues we arrived at another
ranchería called Jiaspi, and by us, El Rosario [The Rosary] whose principal also received us with crosses, arches, a
clean way, and other demonstrations of joy. We stayed in a house of sticks and mats, which they had made for the
purpose. The people in 2 rows, without weapons, of which we have 120 souls on 27 homes and talked with them of
our Holy Faith. They requested that the father baptize four infants, and being in this Holy act, the principal Indian of
this nation, El Humari with many others came to welcome us, that the previous year went to Dolores, a round-trip
distance of 200 leagues, to request baptism and a padre for their nation that Padre Eusebio Kino educated well in
the baptized, giving the name Francisco Eusebio..."
Two archaeological sites have been found that could be this village. There are only two in this section of the river
and they are in the correct location with respect to league distance north of Cusac and the Redington or Cusac
Narrows. They may both be the village of Jiaspi, but simply represent occupations during different times.
A couple of miles further downstream (to the north) was the largest
settlement on the river, called Quiburi, which in O'odham means Many
Houses. On the same 1697 trip Manje stated:
"We traveled to the north through a valley and down the river. At a league
distance we arrived at the settlement of Quiburi, located on the banks of
the river with a large valley, plains covered with pasture, and lands where
corn, beans, and cotton are harvested. The Indians are dressed in cotton.
All the lands are under irrigation. Captain Coro, chief Indian of the Pima
nation, together with his people, received us splendidly. We were lodged in
an adobe and beamed house; and they gave us presents, as is their
custom. We counted 100 houses and 500 persons of both sexes."
A year earlier Kino had commented:
"I arrived at Quiburi on the fifteenth of December , bearing the
paternal greetings which the father visitor sent to this principal and great
ranchería; for it has more than four hundred souls assembled together, and
a fortification, or earthen enclosure, since it is on the frontier of the hostile
Hocomes. As a result of the Christian teaching, the principal captain, called
El Coro, gave me his little son to baptize, and he was named Oracio
Polise; and the governor called El Bajon, and others, gave me their little
ones to christen. We began a little house of adobe for the father, within the
fortification, and immediately afterward I put in a few cattle and a small
drove of mares for the beginning of a little ranch."
Again, when they left Arivavia Manje notes only that they went a short distance before coming to the next settlement.
Tutoyda (or Tutoydac) had 20 houses and 100 people that "showed the same affection to us that the rest displayed."
Another three leagues to the north they came upon the settlement of Comarsuta (Komali Shuundag, This [Sheet of]
Water) that had "80 courteous persons with whom we spoke about our religion." After which they traveled another
three leagues and stopped to camp at the settlement of La Victoria de Ojio, which Manje notes is:
the last settlement on this river to the north. This is the home of Captain Humari, chief leader of all this tribe, who was
named Francisco Eusebio when he was baptized. At this place the Indians exceeded their demonstration of joy on
our arrival, feasting and dancing and having arches and swept roads. We were lodged in a house made of sticks and
mats, so large that there was room for all the soldiers, the priest, and his retinue. This house had a chapel [alter] in
the center, wherein mass was celebrated.
They were very liberal with us with their gifts. We counted 70 houses and 380 persons of all ages and both sexes.
All this valley, as I said, is wide and long and very fertile; and their fields are under irrigation. There are large areas of
pasture fields for cattle and horses. The Indians are dressed and adorned with painted cloth. They wear belts, and
strings of beads around the neck.
Through the years there were a few other Sobaipuri O'odham settlements noted when Kino and Manje journeyed
north along the San Pedro. This explains the greater number of archaeological sites than there are named
settlements. As noted above as well, villages moved every few years along specific river segment where their canals
were located and so this explains some of the sites encountered as well.
Kino and his companions often wrote journals of their trips but in them they did not always provide distances and
sometimes did not name the villages encountered so these details have been lost to history. In other instances,
there is disagreement between sources in the distances traveled, number of houses and people, and even the
names of the settlements. Settlements sometimes switched which side of the river they were on. Kino's maps shows
named and unnamed settlements on both the east and west sides of the river, and which he was referencing varied
through time. (Figure). Nonetheless, these sources provide valuable insights into the character of the people Kino
encountered and the landscapes he traversed. Archaeological research has also revealed where many of these
villages were not and where they were likely located. This information allows us to fill in the blanks.
From Muyva they traveled another 6 leagues, and "having passed through three intermediate settlements with kind people,
we came to sleep in the settlement called Arivavia." Winters suggests this name is Ali Vavhia or Little Well in O'odham.
Here Manje describes their welcome and the character if the village:
These people, although they were heathen Indians, received us like the best of Christians with arches and swept roads.
They gave us lodgings in a house, which they made for us of sticks and petates. They gave our soldiers so many cooked
beans and corn flour that they did not have sufficient talegas [bags] in which to carry them, although they all had some in
which to carry food for the trip. We reciprocated, giving them knives, ribbons and other trinkets which they liked very much.
We talked to them all night about God and His Sacred Law through the interpreters, Francisco Acuna and Francisco Pintor.
Father Kino had done the same the previous afternoon. They were given staffs of justice with which to govern themselves.
Five children were baptized. All were anxious to become Christians and to have priests to instruct them. They pledged
themselves to His Majesty. We counted in this settlement, together with the three intermediate settlements, 500 persons
and 130 houses made of sticks and mats in the shape of an arched framework. All these are beautiful valleys of fertile
lands where they harvest corn, beans and cotton. From the cotton they weave prime cloth that is painted in various colors
and from which they make dresses and adorn themselves.
In 1716 Velarde describes their clothing in more detail, stating: "Their dress…is of cloth of cotton, which is very well woven
and painted gracefully with red and yellow."
Settlements sometimes switched which side of the river they were on.
Kino's maps shows named and unnamed settlements on both the east and
west sides of the river, and which he was referencing varied through time.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS PAGE IS COPYRIGHTED AND SHOULD BE APPROPRIATELY CITED (C) 2007-2017, Deni Seymour
This plan drawing of the houses at the
village of Quiburi visited by Kino is rather
cluttered because the village was occupied
of and on for centuries, The houses shown
represent several distinct occupations.
This plan drawing of the village
layout shows the rows of
houses that were occupied by
the Sobaipuri at the time of
Kino and Manje's visits.
The elongated oval of rocks
represents the foundation to a
Sobapuri house. This specific
houise was occupied when Kino
visited the village.
This excavated feature is the
adobe-walled structure at Santa Cruz de
Gaybanipitea that was present when Kino
visited. This is the defensive structure that
the Sobaipuri villagers retreated to when
attacked by 500 Jocomes, Apaches, and
their allies in 1698.
Close of the part of the floor of a
Sobaipuri house at Quiburi.
Excavations at Kino's Quiburi revealed a pattern in house
layout that is the same across all Sobaipuri villages, and
includes paired structures that represent a household.
The narrows at Tres Alamos created
by outcroppings of bedrock, as Kino
might have seen it, though back then
the valley may have been even
greener because there was a
cienega to the south of the narrows.
A Sobaipuri archaeological site has been found at the general location where one or the other of these villages was
located. House outlines are scattered across the terrace in four discrete locations. Some portions of the site show
evidence of extended use, including that some houses overlie older houses. Their villages were occupied for a
decade or two before they moved to a nearby location, and then, after many years, they would have reoccupied the
older location. This village drift is typical of the O'odham and was recorded historically.
Others structures, as the one on the upper right, retain the vestiges of platforms and other indoor features and
furniture. This is also an indication of permanent settlements that were used over long periods.
Artifacts also indicate the Sobaipuri presence including these arrowheads made of locally available chert.
This portion of the river did have good agricultural lands but they were not as
extensive as they were on other portions of the river. This likely explains why there
were not that many Sobaipuri sites in this stretch. It location on the margin of Humari's
territory may also be a factor.