Pickett Post Mountain

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coazon de oro
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Pickett Post Mountain

Post by coazon de oro » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:57 pm

I had read somewhere that there was a fort close to this mountain called Fort Pickett Post, which later became either Pinal City, or Superior. This is the fort that Jacob Waltz was coming from when he ran into some Apaches, lost his mule, and ended up finding the Mexicans camp.

What interests me is that I read that there was a pack trail to take supplies from Fort Pickett Post to Fort McDowell. I can't seem to find that anymore.

Pickett Post Mountain used to be called Tordillo by the Mexicans before they changed the name to Pickett Post. What most don't know is that "Tordillo" is only used to describe a grey horse. Any other thing grey is described as "gris".

Homar P. Olivarez

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by somehiker » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:48 pm


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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by somehiker » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:12 pm

Homar:

"Pickett Post Mountain used to be called Tordillo by the Mexicans before they changed the name to Pickett Post. What most don't know is that "Tordillo" is only used to describe a grey horse."

From the second link:

"1860s Mexican miners explored the area within the Queen Creek Valley looking for Spanish treasures of gold in and around the 1800-foot mountain they named La Montaña Tordillo, “the gray-spotted mountain”, later called “Picket Post Mountain” by the U.S. Army in 1871"

Maybe if they had found them Stone Maps by looking a few miles to the west, they would have found the Spanish treasures of gold they sought.
Don't suppose they knew they were looking for something in the Pinal/Queen Creek area do ya ?

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by coazon de oro » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:09 pm

Somehiker,

It is possible that at least one Mexican who was the only survivor of the Peralta massacre, knew about the PSM's. Maybe they searched for the stones without success, but did succeed in finding the rich mine without them just by memory.

That second link on Pickett Post show a strong Apache presence in the area since AD 1600.

Homar

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by somehiker » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:53 am

Homar:

As I read it, the timeline at the link only notes the Apache as present in the area from 1600.
Which doesn't necessarily mean they had a "strong" presence...ie permanent villages, definitive boundaries etc...or permanently occupied any area west of the White Mountain/Tonto Basin/Globe-Pinal area.
As "Spirit" has mentioned in his posts, the Apache clans were generally small family groups whose interest in the area was related to the annual gathering of saguaro fruit and agave. This article, even though it describes the more complex process of making mescal, documents the preparation and roasting of agave in rock-lined pits.

http://gomexico.about.com/od/fooddrink/ ... rocess.htm

Three interesting things within the article are the name given to the agave heart, after the spiney leafs have been removed, as a "piña", and how the word piña relates to pinal/pinals/pinaleros.
That they weigh as much as 220 pounds each would make transport for long distances in husk form very difficult, requiring the establishment of at the least "temporary seasonal work camps" with roasting pits in areas where agave were plentiful. Once established such camps and any nearby areas of agave would likely be "claimed" and even considered "sacred" as Spirit has mentioned regarding Tortilla Mtn.
The third item of note is the use of the agave, after roasting, in the production of "pulque" and the history of it's manufacture and consumption in Mexico and the US Southwest.

Another paper sheds more light on this topic:

http://www.utep.edu/leb/pdf/ethnobot.pdf

...Agave americana...Pg 3-5


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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by coazon de oro » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:39 am

somehiker wrote:Homar:

As I read it, the timeline at the link only notes the Apache as present in the area from 1600.
Which doesn't necessarily mean they had a "strong" presence...ie permanent villages, definitive boundaries etc...or permanently occupied any area west of the White Mountain/Tonto Basin/Globe-Pinal area.
As "Spirit" has mentioned in his posts, the Apache clans were generally small family groups whose interest in the area was related to the annual gathering of saguaro fruit and agave. This article, even though it describes the more complex process of making mescal, documents the preparation and roasting of agave in rock-lined pits.

http://gomexico.about.com/od/fooddrink/ ... rocess.htm

Three interesting things within the article are the name given to the agave heart, after the spiney leafs have been removed, as a "piña", and how the word piña relates to pinal/pinals/pinaleros.
That they weigh as much as 220 pounds each would make transport for long distances in husk form very difficult, requiring the establishment of at the least "temporary seasonal work camps" with roasting pits in areas where agave were plentiful. Once established such camps and any nearby areas of agave would likely be "claimed" and even considered "sacred" as Spirit has mentioned regarding Tortilla Mtn.
The third item of note is the use of the agave, after roasting, in the production of "pulque" and the history of it's manufacture and consumption in Mexico and the US Southwest.

Another paper sheds more light on this topic:

http://www.utep.edu/leb/pdf/ethnobot.pdf

...Agave americana...Pg 3-5


Regards:Somehiker
Somehiker,

I think it safe to say that the Pinaleros got their name by working with the agave hearts.

Some agave hearts are very heavy, but most get cut into halves, or quarters before roasting. That would make it easier for women and children to carry to the roasting pits.

The "pulque" however is not made from roasted agave hearts. It is made with the sap of the plant called "aguamiel" in Spanish, or honey water because it is sweet, and very refreshing. If you boil the "aguamiel", you get a sweet nectar. If you let it ferment, you get the "pulque", which was considered as the drink of the Gods.

When the maguey matures, at around eight years or more, it begins to form the stalk that flowers, then the plant dies. This young forming stalk is cut, and the heart is hollowed out. The "aguamiel" is collected from the hollowed out heart by a "Tlachiquero", or "aguamiel" collector. It is taken out with an "acocote", a long hollow gourd with a hole in the bottom, and one on top for sucking the "aguamiel" into it.

The "aguamiel" is collected two to three time a day, every time it is done the inside of the heart gets a new scraping, and is covered with a rock. Each plant can produce from two liters up, and can produce from three to five months.

Homar

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by somehiker » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:51 am

Thanks Homar, for the additional information and correction. And if I happen to come across an agave with a stone covering it's hollowed-out heart, I'll know it's not a treasure sign leading to gold. ;) The history of man's exploitation of native plants,with corn and agave as two good examples, is an interesting subject which can give us moderns more insight into the past. Cacao is another, especially with tests having been done more recently on residue found within Anasazi pottery which revealed the presence of cacao.

"Trade definitely facilitated cultural exchange such as the sharing of agricultural techniques, desirable seeds for planting, material goods like shell and stone jewelry, pottery, macaws, copper bells, and cacao from Mexico) as well as elements of architectural styles. For example, T-shaped doorways (originally a "Mexican architectural attribute") are found among both the great houses of Chaco Canyon, and later the Casas Grandes (or "Paquimé") settlement of the Mogollon in Chihuahua, Mexico. In general, however, the Mogollon people were a bit more isolated trade wise than the Hohokam and the Anasazi."....http://www.ancient.eu.com/news/2138/

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by coazon de oro » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:03 pm

With Joe not here to correct me, I just realized that I got the spelling wrong on Picketpost Mountain. :?

It's hard getting old, can't even recall what I read. I think I read about a Pickett's charge at Apache leap, or some where else, and it entered my mind that the fort may have been named after a certain Pickett stationed there. This was after I had already read why it was called Fort Picketpost. :oops:

Old Man Homar

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by somehiker » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:53 am

Seems Picket Post was never really a fort. More like a work camp established by Gen. Stoneman in 1870 at the beginning of a trail which the soldiers were building eastward to a site Stoneman called "Camp Pinal" in Mason's Valley (Top of the World). Stoneman had planned to make Camp Pinal his headquarters. .....http://zybtarizona.com/suhist.htm.....

Happy New Year:Somehiker

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Re: Pickett Post Mountain

Post by spirit » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:05 pm

coazon de oro and somehiker,

ya-a-teh shi-ti-ki,

I read with interest your comments about the Pinal mountains and the mescal agave. You are most correct in your words. My ancestor clan, the tuhana-ne of the Tiis Ebah band (Pinal Apache) lived in close proximity to the Pinal and Superstition mountains and used both ranges to hunt and gather food. Some Apache still gather and roast agave (mescal) in much the same way it has always been practiced.

Agave was vitally important to all the Apache clans. The crown of the agave provided food, the juice when fermented was made into a strong drink, the thorns and the plant fiber were used as needles and thread, it's stalk used for the shaft of lances and many other useful items were made from it's stalk and leaves. The agave could be gathered several times each year, customarily after the planting of the corn but also following the harvesting of the fall crops. Even in winter the agave could be gathered, good edible plants could be selected by observing the leaf base and terminal shoot, if it was thick it meant the plant would bloom that spring and still held the abundant juices or plant's blood.

Agave crowns would be gathered by the women. The men would prepare the mescal pit where the agave would be roasted. A roasting site was often the same site used for many years, decades, by a clan. These places often became sacred because of the life events that would occur there during the gathering and roasting.

The roasting pit would vary in size according to the number in the harvesting group. From 3 to 12 feet in diameter and from 2 to 4 feet in depth. After digging the pit or clearing the old one, the pit would be filled with wood laid in a criss cross pattern. Oak was the preferred wood ( Emory or Scrub oak). Pine, Mesquite Juniper or Pinion was considered less desirable as oak produced the best tasting agave. Over this wood would be placed a layer of stones, round not flat, and about 8 inches in diameter. Lava stones were prized for this as they retained the most heat.

When completed the fire pit was ignited in ritual tradition by an important person usually one with some spirit power. The fire must be ignited with a fire drill, not a flint or matches and must be lit in order, first to the east, then the south, west and finally the north. A ceremonial prayer is said at the lighting. Individual prayers would also be said and sacred pollen scattered to all directions. While the process of roasting was going on, strict observation of ceremony and taboo's would be held. When the fire was lit, it was allowed to burn until all the wood was completely consumed. Green grass, rushes or wet leaves were quickly placed over the hot stones. The mescal (agave) crowns were then carefully placed over the grass. Another thick layer of grass and leaves were then placed over the agave. The pit was then covered with a foot or more of earth.

The roasting pit would remain covered for 2 days. On the second morning after the fire was lit, the pit would be opened and the roasted agave removed. Each individual, clan or family could identify it's own crown by the certain way they had marked it before they were placed in the pit. The women took the cooked agave and pounded them flat with stones until they were in sheets an inch or two thick and two to three feet in diameter. The sheets were then dried by a fire or hung on racks to dry. The dried sheets would then be rolled up and tied tightly with bear grass. Several of these rolled sheets would be placed together to make a bundle. Dried and stored in this way, the agave would keep well for a year or more.

This is how my clan performed the task of roasting the agave, it is still done this way on San Carlos reservation and at other long used sites.

ka-dish-day

spirit
Last edited by spirit on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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