The Witches of Abiquiu
The Governor, the Priest, the Genizaro Indians, and the Devil
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
360 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 9 halftones, 19 drawings, 1 map
- 9780826320322 | August 2006
The little-studied witchcraft trial that took place at Abiquiu, New Mexico, between 1756 and 1766 is the centerpiece of this book. The witchcraft outbreak took place less than a century after the Pueblo Revolt and symbolized a resistance by the Genízaros (hispanicized Indians) of Abiquiu to forced Christianization.
The Abiquiu Genízaro land grant where the witchcraft outbreak occurred was the crown jewel of Governor Vélez Cachupín's plan to achieve peace for the early New Mexican colonists. They were caught between the Pueblo Indians' resistance to Christianization and raids by the nomadic indio barbaros that threatened the existence of the colony. Thanks mainly to the governor's strategy, peace was achieved with the Comanches and Utes, the Pueblo Indians retained their religious ceremonies, and the Abiquiu Pueblo land grant survived and flourished.
The Witches of Abiquiu is the story of a polarizing event in New Mexico history equal in importance to the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692.