Alvar nunez Cabeza de Vaca
Most scholars agree that Cabeza de Vaca and his companions encountered the Jumano Puebloans at or near La Junta de los Rios. This is where they Conchos River intersects the Rio Grande. From Cabeza de Vaca's account it is impossible to tell where he went, the route the traveled, and which natives he encountered. Moreover, they would not have left evidence of their passing given they were living off the land, like the natives they encountered and traveled with. He wrote that they headed toward the setting sun, but other than this, it is difficult to tell where they went. Were it not for documentary evidence from later expeditions there would be no hope of reconstructing the general outline of the route. In 15xx xx committed to the pages of his journal that men wearing beards/or white men had come through this area years before. From this, we can determine that they were at this spot and interacted with the natives later called the Jumanos.
Cabeza de Vaca's journal states that they traveled up the river for 17 days and ....
From this it seems apparent that they went likely went to the El Paso area before heading west across the dry desert.
Most scholars, however, have suggested that they went west to Paquime/Casas Grandes, turning west shortly after La Junta, as shown in the image below. Then they went south, presumably along the Sonora River the the place of the hearts or Los Corazones.
Yet, other more recently obtained evidence indicates that they were further north before they crossed the Rio Grande, likely crossing at El Paso, and that they traversed southern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. This is based on the newly discovered Coronado route and the likely location of the place called Los Corazones.
Los Corazones received its name because CdeV was given hundreds of deer hearts when passing through this settlement.
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