Cottonwood Valley Charter School 6th graders perform the interactions between Spanish colonizers and native Piro people in 1598 (near Socorro, 138 miles south of Santa Fe).
- Credit / Author:
- Sheri Armijo
- Date created:
A Child’s Story of Socorro
2007 Self-Published by Sheri Armijo
All rights reserved.
Library of Sherik Cataloging-in-Publication Data
For additional copies write to:
430 Terry Street
Socorro, NM 87801
Spanish Speaking Colonists/soldiers & families
Juan de Oñate (leader of the colonists)
Indians and Slaves from Mexico
Letoc (Leader of the Piro People)
Narrator: Long ago the Pueblo People lived by the river in a large village called Teypana, which meant “Village Flower” in their language.
(People sit down by the river.)
Narrator: In June of 1598 a group of over 500 Spanish speaking people, including Indians and slaves, came from Mexico.
There were 130 soldiers & families.
Oñate knew they would find Indios de los pueblos because of the records of the Rodríquez-Chamuscado Expedition in 1581.
(Hold up pictures of Fray Rodríquez and Francisco Chamuscado.)
(Oñate looks at his records)
(More colonists and others cross stage with horses and other props.)
Narrator: They had traveled hundreds of miles on El Camino Real. They would walk or ride horses. Some of the men, women, and children got sick and some died. (Pause to elicit sadness.)
They brought horses, cows, oxen, mules, donkeys, goats, pigs, Churro sheep, dogs and a cat.
(More movement on stage: more props)
They brought 83 wagons loaded with armaments, tools, hoes, axes; velvet and silk; seeds, seedlings, herbs, and spices.
Foods like wheat, barley, chickpeas, pomegranate, cherries, apricot, peppers, peas, coriander seeds, cilantro leaves, cumin, coffee, chile tomatoes, onions, garlic, grapes, and sugar.
(Oñate holds up a banner)
Narrator: Their leader Juan de Oñate carried a banner of “Nuestra Senora de los Remedios Our Lady of Succur* - one who gives spiritual or physical relief.
(Characters act hungry, thirsty and tired)
Narrator: They were ragged after coming out of the Jornada del Muerto, a 90-mile stretch of land without water. They were hot and tired and hungry and thirsty. They thought they were going to die. They prayed for help.
Colonists and Others: Socorro! Socorro! Socorro!
Narrator: They stopped and camped near Qualacu on the east bank of the Río Grande.
Qualacu was a Piro-speaking pueblo settlement. The people there were farmers. The people of Qualacu were not certain they wanted anything to do with newcomers. They fled from their pueblo.
(Piro leave area)
(Onate sends gifts to the Piros)
Narrator: The Piros heard them speaking a different language. They didn’t understand Spanish but they could tell that the Spanish speakers needed help.
The Piro crowded on the rooftops of their houses to see the strangers.
They believed these strangers to be “children of the Sun”.
The leader Letoc was not afraid. Through signs with his hands, he showed that he wanted to be friendly. He offered them a huge gift of com.
They gave them water to drink.
(Pass around the water jugs)
They also had squash and pumpkins.
(The Piros present plants)
The Piros showed them plants for making dyes for cloth and herbs for medicines.
The Spanish speaking people were so happy to be helped. They gave the Piro people the wonderful things they brought with them.
They gave them sheep and lambs.
(Bring in props)
Narrator: They showed them how to make cloth out of the wool from the sheep. They also brought leather boots, jewelry, linen handkerchiefs, ruffled shirts, silk stockings, embroidered shawls, and rosaries to trade.
(Colonists and others playact religious motions)
Narrator: They acted out a play for the Piro People to teach them different ways to pray.
(Bring in Santos or other religious items/crucifix)
(The Piros kiss the crucifix)
Narrator: They taught them how to speak Spanish.
Colonist/Piro: (Converse in Spanish) Cómo estas? Muy bien gracias. (How are you? Very well, thank you.)
Narrator: The Spanish speakers played new kinds of music.
(All listen to music)
Narrator: The Spanish speakers taught the Piros how to build a church.
Narrator: They named the church*Nuestra Señora de Socorro de Pilabo, because of the relief that they received.
(All put arms around each other and looked relieved)
Narrator: The colonists and Piros learned from each other. New ideas, new foods, new ways to farm helped both cultures achieve succor.
Narrator: And everyone learned to be friends in Socorro.