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Jocome and Jano at Quiburi, 1686

IMGP9093 quiburi.JPG

The San Pedro River was the domain of the Sobaipuri O'odham from at least AD 1300 onward. They had villages strewn all along the river, focused on areas with surface water. 


Testimony in the 1686 trial of a Pima named Canito revealed an alliance between the San Pedro Sobaipuri and Jano and Jocome. The Quiburi Sobaipuri had given land near their village to the Jano and Jocome to settle down and farm. This worried to Spaniards who launched a successful effort to break up this alliance, forcing the Jano and Jocome to relocate.

The veracity of this alliance is questioned by some because the testimony was obtained by torture and is therefore deemed to be unreliable. Yet, archaeological evidence of this Jano and Jocome presence is visible throughout the area around Quiburi. A number of sites have been recorded, and are discussed briefly here. One of the reason these have not been recognized before is because many of the sites have more than one component and that second component is Canutillo complex. The material culture of the Canutillo complex was mistaken for Sobaipuri for many years. Since then, many sites that are Canutillo complex and not Sobaipuri or occur outside of Sobaipuri territory have been recorded. So while the Jano and Jocome often reoccupied Sobaipuri villages or camped nearby, the Sobaipuri have a very different technology and way of life.


This Canutillo complex tool, probably a knife, was found on the western margin of the Sobaipuri site known as Quiburi at the time of Father Kino. It was broken and has been reworked. The nature of the break, as an impact fracture suggests it broken when being used, either as a weapon or as a tool. The size and quality of the material meant that it was still useful as a reworked scraper.


This scraper was found on a low ridge below other sites. Roasting pits and flaked-stone debris indicate that this was a food processing locale related to the Canutillo complex. Indentations on the sides of this tool show that it was hafted.

Other sites are more extensive and include houses and many more artifacts. These sites likely represent those referenced in the historical documents. Other artifacts at these sites include flaked-stone debris and tools, pottery, some of which is not local to this area, expedient ground stone, and green-glazed Spanish olive jar wares.

This is a structure used by the Jano and Jocome. They differ from Sobaipuri structures in their more circular or oval shape and by the fact that the rocks are on the surface, not embedded as they are for Sobaipuri-made houses.

Another site has structures on top that indicate a main habitation area, with work areas to the east below the terrace, on the old floodplain and among the trees. Unusual pottery dating to the 1600s indicates that this was one of the site likely occupied by these Jano and Jocome.

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