Thursday, July 07, 2016

Chupadero and the Blue Nun

by Matt Baca

...The trajectory of the Chupadero, located south of the village of Abo and close to Mountainair, is a vast range of land suitable for cattle rising. A village existed there in the beginning of the last century setting on the vast range land.

Leondez and Cruzita Ulibarri were the founders of a village in the Chupadero. The village grew so that there were less than a dozen houses. A Catholic church built in the Chapudero was a mission for the mother of La Joya. Due to the lack of parishioners, it fell into disuse and the building itself crumbled and only the walls remain. A picture of the church called San David (Davie) still exits.

There is a history of the Jumano Indians living in Texas and Eastern New Mexico, including the Chupadero area. Because of the lack of water in the dry Southwest, there is some evidence of Indians traveling to the Chupadero looking for water. They would quench their thirst at various springs on the Chupadero.

It is from the Spaniards who witnessed the Indians “surping” or “sipping” water from the various water springs that we know of this unusual word, “Chupadero.” The Spaniards came out with the name Chupadero, which means to snort or surp up (draw up) water. Using hollow bamboo sticks, the Indians were able to drink water.

Stealthily, the natives moved in an aura of silence vanishing in the shadows after drinking water only to reappear suddenly as if returning from another dimension.

There is an interesting story about the Jumano Indians in the area of Mountainair, Abo, Grand Quivera and, of course, Chupadero. It has to do with the Catholic nun from Agreda, Spain. It seems she would visit the Indians and tell them about Christ and yet she never left the confines of her convent in Spain. The Indians called her the Blue Nun. Her name was Maria de Jesus Agreda. She wore a blue cloak over a creamed-colored gown.

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