Kuaua was a Tiwa-speaking pueblo, most likely speaking what is now recognized as Southern Tiwa, like today's Sandia and Isleta pueblos. History notes Kuaua as being a place where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men stopped for several months over the winter of 1540-41. The Spaniards looted the pueblo's food stores and ravaged their agricultural fields before they moved on to Cicuye.
Somewhere early in Coronao's "negotiations" with the elders of Kuaua, one of his men raped a native woman, a married woman at that. It was the spark that ignited the Tiguex War. The Spaniards may have kept most of their looting to the one pueblo but when each other pueblo in the valley sent warriors to attack them, they retaliated with more murder, rape and looting.
Finally, in the early spring of 1541, Coronado and gang left and headed north, then east to Cicuye. Six months later they came back and savaged the natives again.
First settled around 1325, Kuaua was prosperous for many years. Excavations showed the village expanded from south to north over 200 years. There were six kivas found in the pueblo, some round and some square. The most remarkable one was a square one that revealed a set of wall murals, one painted over another. 14 of them have been restored and now adorn the walls of the Coronado State Historic Site Visitor Center.
There are some who say that second visit of Coronado was enough to finish the village but it was the diseases set loose among the people that did that. When Coronado first arrived in the area there were 13 Tiwa-speaking villages recorded in the middle Rio Grande Valley. Coronado fought the Tiguex War against all of them in the winter of 1540-1541. When Don Juan de Onate came through 50 years later there were only 2 pueblos left that were occupied year round.