"Land of lost souls" The tradition in northern New Mexico is that a large force of Spanish soldiers was lost on the banks of the river and the stream named El Rio de las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio (The River of Souls Lost in Purgatory) because of a curse placed upon the souls of these men. They were following a leader who had killed his predecessor, the priests left after the murder and would not continue with the expedition. When the expedition was attacked by Indians and all killed, there was no one to administer the last rites of the church to the dying. Therefore the souls of the massacred men were lost or wondering in purgatory. (over) LATER THE NAME "EL RIO DE LAS ANIMAS PERDIDAS EN PURGATORIAO" SHORTENED TO PURGATORIO ALTHOUGH LAS ANIMAS USED AS WELL. WHEN FRENCH FUR TRANDERS CAME NORTH OF THE ARKANSAS TRANSLATED PURGATORIO INTO PURATOIRE EL PALACIO OCT. 1943 V.50 #10
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