A North American family, occupying the western part of New Mexico
; discovered by Fray Marcos de Niza
in 1539; and shown by the late Frank Hamilton Cushing
(q. v.) to be the most interesting body of Indians now on the American
They were named by their discoverer “the people of Cibola
A Zuñi Indian.|
and they originally had seven pueblos, the “seven cities of Cibola
As far back as 1540, when the advance of Coronado
's army reached that region, these towns were in ruins and deserted.
It was K'iakime, the most easterly of these seven cities, that Fray Marcos discovered in 1539.
He was killed by its inhabitants, but the monk who accompanied him escaped, and from his pen came the first account of the Zuñis, a narrative that was enlarged and embellished by subsequent travellers.
Frank H. Cushing
spent several years among them, was adopted by them, and gave to the world the most accurate account of their history and manners and customs that it ever possessed.
The other cities were Hawikuh, subdued by Coronado
in 1540; Taaiyalone, which soon afterwards submitted to him; Kwakina, the most westerly of the cities, which was abandoned between 1542 and 1580; Hampassawan and K'ianawe, from which the Zuñis were driven by the Apaches and Navajos between 1598 and 1680; and Hawikuhwas, which was similarly abandoned in 1672.
A graphic description of this ancient people and their curious habitations was published in Harper
, under the title of The father of the Pueblos
, in June, 1882.