Teypana (alternate spelling “Teypama”) was the first pueblo to be called Socorro. This Piro pueblo was located close to present-day Socorro, New Mexico. A reference from 1598 suggests Teypana was on the west bank of the Rio Grande, below the pueblo of Pilabó (the site of modern Socorro). Found in a partly flawed list of Piro pueblos, the reference is somewhat problematic, however, as there is no further information on the pueblo's location. In 1598, Juan de Oñate and an advance party of his colonists were given food and water by the people of Teypana. In response, they named the settlement “Socorro”, which means “help” or “aid” in Spanish. By 1626, the name had become associated with the Piro pueblo of Pilabó, site of the first permanent mission in Piro territory.
“Teypana” is thought to mean “village flower” in the Piro language.
- Marshal, Michael P. & Walt, Henry J., Rio Abajo: Prehistory and History of a Rio Grande Province (Santa Fe: New Mexico Historical Preservation Division, 1984), p 250.
- Julyan, Robert, The Place Names of New Mexico: Revised Ed., (Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1998) p. 351.