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CIBOLA, an Indian name for the villages of the Zuni in what is now western New Mexico, rumored in the early sixteenth century to be fabulously wealthy. In 1539 the Spanish dispatched an expedition under Friar Marcos de Niza, guided by a Moorish man named Esteban. Esteban went ahead but was killed by the Zuni. De Niza, who had merely glimpsed a Zuni village from a distance, returned to Mexico with an imaginative account of the wealth of the Seven Cities of Cibola. His report inspired a stronger expedition the next year under Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. The name "Cibola" later came to be applied to the entire Pueblo country and was extended to the Great Plains.


Clissold, Stephen. The Seven Cities of Cibola. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1961.

Kenneth M.Stewart/a. r.

See alsoConquistadores ; Coronado Expeditions ; Explorations and Expeditions: Spanish ; Southwest ; Tribes: Southwestern .

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