ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Residents of Abiquiú are using science to verify what they already know – many of them are descended from American Indians.
Local library director Isabel Trujillo recently received a grant to collect and test the DNA of 20 people from the area to learn about their ancestors, many of whom were believed to have been Native American slaves. According to test results, 18 of the 20 people (10 men and 10 women) tested in Abiquiú had Native American DNA. Almost all were from their mother’s lineage but some also found it with their father’s line.
Trujillo has worked at the Pueblo de Abiquiú Library and Cultural Center for more than two decades. In her time there, she said, numerous residents have approached her inquiring about their American Indian ancestry. Most families have passed down tales of slave ancestors from generation to generation but she wanted to put science behind the stories.
“They did know a lot of times that grandma spoke a native language,” she said. “Or that grandma was a captive brought to the area. I wanted to start exploring that indigenous connection and where it was lost and why.”