The Full Wiki

More info on Marcos de Niza

Marcos de Niza: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the high school in Tempe, Arizona, see Marcos de Niza High School.
Modern forgery, probably dated from 1930, very often and wrongly attributed to Fray Marcos de Niza[1], located in Pima Canyon near Phoenix, Arizona South Mountain Park.

Fray Marcos de Niza (c. 1495 - March 25, 1558) was a Franciscan friar. He was born in Nice (de Niza means of Nice in Spanish), which was at that time under the control of the Italian House of Savoy.

He went to America in 1531, and after serving his order zealously in Peru, Guatemala and Mexico, was chosen to explore the country north of Sonora, whose wealth was pictured in the hearsay stories of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. Preceded by Estevanico, the Moorish companion of Cabeza de Vaca in his wanderings and the Black Mexican of Zuni traditions, Fray Marcos left Culiacán in March 1539, crossed south-eastern Arizona, penetrated to the Zuni or the Seven Cities of Cibola, and in September returned to Culiacán. He saw Cibola only from a distance, and his description of it as equal in size to Mexico City was probably exact; but he embodied much mere hearsay in his report, Descubrimiento de las siete ciudades, which led Francisco Vázquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition next year to Zuni Pueblo, in present-day New Mexico, of which Fray Marcos was the guide; and the realities proved a great disappointment.

Fray Marcos was made provincial superior of his order for Mexico before the second trip to Zuni, and returned in 1541 to the capital, in shame, where he died in 1558.



  1. ^ Katharine Bartlett and Harold S. Colton, A Note on the Marcos de Niza inscription near Phoenix, Arizona, Plateau, vol.12, n°4, p.53-59.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antonio de Ciudad Rodrigo
Provincial of the province of the Holy Gospel Succeeded by
Francisco de Soto


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address