Coronado State Monument and Kuaua Pueblo Ruins (Video)
The Coronado State Monument is approximately 15 miles north of Albuquerque, NM, in Bernalillo. It is named after Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, the famous Spanish explorer who was in New Mexico in the mid-16th century. Coronado was inspired by the accounts of the Franciscan Friar Marcos de Niza concerning the Seven Cities of Cíbola, and he set about looking for them, covering a wide area including what is now Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Kansas.
Coronado supposedly wintered at Kuana Pueblo, the large pueblo preserved at the state monument, between late 1540 and early 1541; however, recent excavations indicate that the Spaniards camped nearby at Santiago Pueblo, located about two miles to the southwest of Coronado State Monument.
Kuaua is a Tiwa pueblo first excavated in the 1930s by WPA workers, who also reconstructed new ruin walls over the original ruins, which were reburied to preserve them for posterity. Several layers of some of the finest examples of pre-Columbian Native American murals were discovered in a square kiva located in the pueblo’s south plaza. Both the kiva and one of the mural layers are reconstructed and open to visitors, while many of the preserved mural segments can be seen in the mural room of the visitor center. The visitor center, designed by noted architect John Gaw Meem, also displays prehistoric and historic Indian and Spanish Colonial artifacts.
For additional useful information see the New Mexico State Monuments website: http://www.nmmonuments.org/coronado-state-monument.
Footage – July 28, 2011
Videographer – Brandon Ortega
Photographer – Santiago Moratto