Pueblo Indians II: The Pueblos

Table of Contents

Pueblo people rooted in this region of the southwest are descendants of  The Anasazi, an indigenous Native American culture that has established itself over many centuries. Tribalpedia has provided information about the connections between the following Pueblo Peoples and The Anasazi in Pueblo People  I.  In this section, Part II, we provide a brief update about the people of each individual Pueblo, including a link to each Pueblo’s web page under the Sources, the prime source being The Pueblo Indian Cultural site. A few of the well known Pueblos have additional information links in the Sources. The great bluk of the Pueblos are located in New Mexico, with one each in Arizona and in Texas.  Of the 21 pueblos that exist today, the best known are  Acoma, Hopi, Taos, and Zuni.


19 Pueblos in NM photo Pueblo site


Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Seal photo- Pueblo Center

Acoma Seal- photo:Pueblo Center
Acoma, which means People of the White Rock. It is also known as “Sky City” because the pueblo is situated on top of a mesa, hundreds of feet above the surrounding land.

Acoma’s culture is practiced almost the same as before the 1589 invasion. The traditions are always oral traditions, in which dancing, music, art, theology, astrology, philosophy and history are taught. The traditional foods that are planted there are beans, pumpkins, corn, chili, onions and fruits like apples, apricots, peaches, plums and cherries. All of the sowing is done as a group.

The pueblo is located 60 miles (100 km) west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The pueblo is open to the public only by guided tour. Photography of the pueblo and surrounding lands is restricted. Tours can be arranged and $10 camera permits obtained from the recently renovated Sky City visitor center at the base of the mesa. However, videotaping, drawing and sketching are prohibited, with big signs warning visitors not to do any of them (but especially not to videotape).

Source: Acoma Pueblo: Indian Pueblo Culture Center–See in depth information for Acoma here.

Cochiti Pueblo

Cochiti Pueblo Seal photo- Indian Pueblo Center

Cochiti Pueblo Seal- photo: Pueblo site

The Pueblo de Cochiti, (Cochiti), is located 55 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico and is contained within 53,779 acres of reservation land that sustains 1,175 Pueblo members.

The people of Cochiti continue to retain their native language of Keres.  They maintain their cultural practices and have instituted programs dedicated to teaching and educating the younger generation Pueblo traditions and cultural practices emphasizing the native language.  Cochiti is well known for their craftsmanship in making jewelry, pottery, (storyteller), and drums.

Cochiti has recently developed a Farm Enterprise Plan, which included the restoration of large acreage’s of traditional farmland inundated by seepage caused by the storage of water behind Cochiti Dam… Of primary importance to the Pueblo de Cochiti are the land, air and water on and adjacent to the reservation, which is the lifeline of the Pueblo Traditions and Culture. The Pueblo is located in the heart of the traditional homeland and it would be impossible to retain peoples and culture if the environment is impacted to the point where the Cochiti decide the land is dangerous to utilize for habitat, farming, fishing, hunting, and maintaining Cultural Tradition.

Source:  Cochiti Pueblo: Indian Pueblo Culture Center


Hopi Pueblo Arizona Map

The Hopi Indians, which means good, peaceful, or wise, come from a group of Southwestern people called Pueblo.  They live in northeast Arizona at the southern end of the Black Mesa.  A mesa is the name given to a small isolated flat-topped hill with three steep sides called the 1st Mesa, 2nd Mesa, and the 3rd Mesa.  On the mesa tops are the Hopi villages called pueblos.  The pueblo of Oraibi on the 3rd Mesa started in 1050, and is the oldest in North America that was lived in continuously.  They live in pueblos that are made of stone and mud and stand several stories high.   The Hopi Tribe is a sovereign nation located in northeastern Arizona. The reservation occupies part of Coconino and Navajo counties, encompasses more than 1.5 million acres, and is made up of 12 villages on three mesas.


Since time immemorial the Hopi people have lived in Hopituskwa and have maintained our sacred covenant with Maasaw, the ancient caretaker of the earth, to live as peaceful and humble farmers respectful of the land and its resources.

Over the centuries we have survived as a tribe, and to this day have managed to retain our culture, language and religion despite influences from the outside world.

The Hopi people established the Hopi Tribal Council on Dec. 19, 1936, with the adoption of the Hopi Constitution and By-Laws. According to the constitution, the Hopi Tribal Council has the power and authority to represent and speak for the Hopi Tribe in all matters for the welfare of the Tribe, and to negotiate with federal, state and local governments, and with the councils or governments of other tribes.

Today’s current council consists of 14 representatives from the villages of Upper Moenkopi, Bacavi, Kykotsmovi and Sipaulovi. Currently, the villages of Mishongnovi, Shungopavi, Oraibi, Hotevilla, Lower Moenkopi and First Mesa Consolidated Villages (Walpi, Shitchumovi and Tewa) do not have a representative on council.

They have a Department of Education, Department of Social & Behavioral Services, Department of Community Health Services, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Public Works.


Lori Piestewa – Kocha-Hon-Mana (Hopi name)

(December 14, 1979 – March 23, 2003)

Ms. Piestewa  was a U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps soldier killed during the same Iraqi Army attack in which fellow soldiers Shoshana Johnson and Jessica Lynch sustained injuries. A member of the Hopi tribe, Piestewa was the first Native American woman in history to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military and the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[2] Arizona’s Piestewa Peak is named in her honor.


Tribalpedia Hopi

Hopi website

Wikipedia Lori Piestewa

Isleta Pueblo

Isleta Pueblo Seal- photo Iseleta site

Isleta Pueblo Seal- photo: Iseleta site

Isleta Pueblo is centrally located in the Río Grande Valley, 13 miles (21 km) south of Albuquerque. Originally established around the 1300s, the name Isleta comes from the Spanish language and means “Little Island.”

Isleta Pueblo

Isleta Pueblo Spanish Mission ofSan Agustin

The Spanish Mission of San Agustín de la Isleta was built in the pueblo in 1612 by Spanish Catholic Franciscans. During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, many of the pueblo people fled to Hopi settlements in Arizona, while others followed the Spanish retreat south to El Paso del Norte (present-day El Paso, Texas. After the rebellion, the Isleta people returned to the Pueblo, many with Hopi spouses. Later in the 1800s, friction with members of Laguna Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo, who had joined the Isleta community, led to the establishment of the satellite settlement of Oraibi. Today, as well as the main pueblo, Isleta includes the small communities of Oraibi and Chicale. Many traditions, songs and dances are still practiced and passed down from generation to generation.

Isleta Pueblo Students

Isleta Pueblo Students

Isleta Higher Education is for students who have graduated from High School or who have received their GED. The program provides supplemental funding for students attending post secondary institutions…The Pueblo of Isleta offers a wide range of career opportunities with competitive salaries and excellent benefits. Jobs range from  Teachers, Physicians, Laborers,  to Home Attendants. The Pueblo also has a thriving casino that generates business.

Sources: Isleta Pueblo: Isleta Pueblo

Jemez Pueblo

Jemez Pueblo Seal photo- Indian Pueblo Center

The Pueblo of Jemez (Walatowa, pronounced / he məs/) is a sovereign nation located in Sandoval County, New Mexico, approximately 55 miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico. As one of 19 New Mexico pueblos, it is a federally recognized tribe with approximately 3,400 Tribal members, with about 58% of that number living in Jemez.

The Pueblo of Jemez has a closed village policy due to the lack of tourism facilities and out of respect for the privacy of those who live there…Visitors should go to the Walatowa Visitor Center which is open year round. Do not wander around the village…

The Pueblo of Jemez is an independent sovereign nation with its own government and tribal court systems. Our secular tribal government includes the Tribal Council, the Governor, two Lt. Governors, two fiscales, and a sheriff. These officials are appointed every year to carry out all secular duties and responsibilities of the tribal government.

The Governor convenes Tribal Council meetings and executes the Council’s decisions. The Second Lieutenant also acts as the Governor of the Pecos culture that merged with their Towa speaking relatives in the 1800s. The Governor becomes a member of the Tribal Council for life after his term… The Education Department provides various services and opportunities for all students in the Pueblo of Jemez community. These programs are intended to expand and increase the educational levels of our students. The Education Department provides the necessary resources to insure individual and community success. There are jobs offered in Health,Human Services, Education, and Public Safety.

Artist Cliff Fragua of Jemez Puebl0

Artist Cliff Fragua is from Jemez.photo: Indigenous Sculpture Society.
View his beautiful pieces of art here Jemez Puebloo Wikipedia

Kewa Pueblo

Kewa Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

(Formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) English Pronunciation: “Kay Wa”

The Kewa Pueblo is located  33 miles north of Albuquerque.

Kewa Pueblo is one of the best known tribes of the southwest Indians, largely because of their skill in marketing, their jewelry and other crafts.  The Pueblo is fifth in population of the nineteen New Mexico Pueblos, and is generally considered the most conservative in terms of customs and culture.

Life in the Pueblo has altered little since the arrival of the white man, Kewa people have closely guarded their ceremonies, placing great emphasis on their ancient religious structures and societies, the center of the social structure.

While adhering strictly to tribal authority, much of the Pueblo productivity is devoted to the making of jewelry.  They travel all over the country displaying and selling the silver and turquoise necklaces, rings and bracelets which have made them famous  They also make fine heishe of turquoise and other stones and silver. As would be expected the pottery of Kewa is strictly traditional, reproducing with care, the ancient forms and decorations.

Like so many other Indian festivals, the Kewa Dances attract many visitors.  Among others, the Corn Dance of the patron saint’s day is very popular, as well as the Sandaro, which is a burlesque with lots of clowning. There are other ceremonies during the Christmas and Easter holidays.

Source: Kewa PuebloIndian Pueblo Cultural Center

Laguna Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Lah-goon-ah “ Traditional Name: Ka’waika

Laguna Pueblo Seal- photo- Pueblo site

The pueblo is located 43 Miles West of Albuquerque.

It is the largest Keresan speaking Pueblo, with around eight thousand members. They prize thinking above all human attributes, consequently they value intellectual activity and education.  A scholarship program is conducted by the Pueblo, thus insuring advanced study for many of the young people, making them among the best educated of all Pueblos.

In the 1970′s, the traditional craft of pottery making was re-established.  Fine work in red, yellow and orange geometric designs, similar to Acoma work, was created by a number of artists.  Painters and jewelry makers have begun to work again in the ancient crafts, but they are bringing a modern note in the innovative designs and techniques which set their work apart from many other Indian craftsmen.

The feast of St. Joseph, celebrated on March 19th and on September 19th  ,brings crowds of people of other tribes as well as Anglos and Hispanics – many of whom come for trading in handiwork and crops… Laguna Pueblo has five semi-pro baseball teams which play against Isleta, Cochiti and various other teams in the area. The All-Indian Tournament held at Laguna in September is one of the major events of any season.

Source:  Laguna Pueblo  Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Nambe Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Nam-bay”

Nambe Pueblo Seal- photo Indian Pueblo Center

The Pueblo is located north of Santa Fe. In the Tewa language, spoken by the people of the Nambe Pueblo, the word Nambe means  “People of the Round Earth.”

Perhaps this is a reference to the landscape which encircles the Pueblo, with its spectacular beauty and the breath-taking view of the Sangre de Christo Mountains in the distance.

Few places in the State of New Mexico are as enchanting as this area and the nearby Nambe Falls.

The Nambe Pueblo is largely Hispanicized, and is almost completely surrounded by non-Indian residents, however, there has been a recent renaissance of interest in the traditional rituals and crafts, and the Nambe artists are making a comeback.

Weaving is being revived in the production of kilts and cotton belts.  Pottery too is once again being made in black on black and white on red designs similar to the work of the Taos and Picuris Pueblo Potters, however, the principal occupation of the Nambe people is farming, with some outside employment at  Los Alamos.

Fourth of July is the time for the most popular festival of the Nambe Pueblo, when they perform dances and other ceremonies above the Pueblo at the spectacularly beautiful Nambe Falls.

This and an October feast day attract a large audience both for the dances and the scenery.

There is a fine art sculpture gallery along the road to the Falls and good facilities for picnicking and fishing.

Source: Nambe Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “O-keh 0-weeng-eh” Traditional Name: Ohkay Owingeh

Ohkay Owingeh Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of Santa Fe. The Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo has a well-known art center, the Oke Owinge Arts & Crafts Cooperative where visitors may watch many of the artisans working in a variety of art forms, and where jewelry, pottery, and other work from over one hundred artists may be purchased.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo life for the visitor to the Oke Owinge Arts & Craft Cooperative are the numerous ceremonies that take place throughout the year, under the auspices of the two-part social system, the Winter People and the Summer People.

The Deer Dance, for example, which is performed to assure prosperity for the coming year, is conducted by the Winter People in January or February.

As in many other dances, humor is an important element, here furnished by caricatures of Apache hunters, who stalk the dancers and pretend to hunt them with sunflower stalk arrows.  There are Buffalo Dances, Basket Dances and a Cloud Dance at various times of the year, and at some of them, the traditional clowns accompany and tease the serious dancers.

The Ohkay Owingeh people have a complex and fascinating cultural history.  They divide the physical world into three parts: the village and surrounding land, which is the realm of the women, the second circle is comprised of the hills and mesa surrounding the first circle and is the realm of both men and women: the third circle encompasses all beyond the second and is the world of hunting and protection form a hostile outside world, and this is the exclusive realm of the men.

All ceremonies and dances are centered on this division of influences and relate to various aspects of daily and seasonal life.

Great importance is placed upon the teaching of responsibility.  Although many Ohkay Owingeh people work outside the Pueblos, most of them return for ritual occasions and ceremonies. Their language is Tewa.

Source: The Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Picuris Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Pick-ah-reese”

Picuris Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of  Santa Fe.  Once one of the largest northern Pueblos early in the fifteenth century, today the Picuris population has shrunk to less than three hundred.

Largely responsible for this decline is the period of the revolt, from 1680 to 1696 when all the Pueblos fought the Spanish conquerors for their land and their autonomy.

Finding it impossible to continue to resist the invaders, the Picuris, dispersed by the wars, returned to their once-abandoned Pueblo in 1706 and joined with their former oppressors in campaigns against hostile Apaches and Comanches who were attacking both Spanish and Pueblo settlements.

After the cessation of these hostilities the Picuris settled down again.  Peace brought many changes to the lifestyle of the Pueblo.  The old ceremonies and rituals had been replaced by Christian religious practices and the tribal government had yielded to the Spanish authorities and later the Americans.

By the mid-nineteen-twenties, the Picuris began their traditional customs and again became self-governing.

The amenities of Anglo civilization which the Picuris had become accustomed to in the years of co-existence still found their way into the Pueblo: electricity, telephone, television  and paved roads changed the aspect of the Pueblo.

Most of the adult population work off the reservation and the children go to school in a nearby town.  Still Picuris life today is marked with many of the traditional ceremonies which have been revived and can be seen throughout the year.

The Feast of St. Lawrence brings Sunset Dances and races in which all ages participate and in June and August there are Corn Dances and Buffalo Dances.

The Picuris craftsmen produce an unusual pottery, different from most Pueblo art, in that it is strictly urilitarian and without ornament.  It is made of micaceous clay and has an interesting texture with a subtle glitter caused by the small chips of mica in the mixture.

Source: Picuris Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Pojoaque Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Po-wock-ee or Po-hock-ee” Traditional Name: PO-SUWAE-GEH

Pojoaque Pueblo photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of Santa Fe,  Pojoaque Pueblo is one of the six Northern Tewa speaking Rio Grande Pueblos.  Archeological studies of the area have dated inhabitation of the historic Pojoaque Pueblo area as early as 500 AD with a large prehistoric population in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.  Pojoaque has always maintained a strong cultural identity and was known by its Tewa speaking neighbors as “Po-suwae-geh” the water drinking or gathering place.

In the early 1600’s the first Spanish mission San Francisco de Pojoaque was founded.  During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and pre-Reconquest period the Pueblo of Pojoaque was ravaged by external pressures and scattered to neighboring tribes.  At the time of the Re-Conquest of New Mexico by Don Diego de Vargas, the Pueblo of Pojoaque was completely deserted.

In 1706 Pojoaque Pueblo was resettled by 5 families.  By 1712 the population reached 79.  By the 1800’s the land base was being encroached upon by non-Indians and an official land grant was patented by Abraham Lincoln with the presentation of a silver cane of authority to the Governor of Pojoaque.  The Pueblo was further devasted by a smallpox epidemic, lack of water, encroaching non-Indians, and a lack of arable land base for agriculture.  Circa 1900 the las Cacique died and Governor Jose Antonio Tapia left the reservation for outside employment.  The Pueblo of Pojoaque was once again abandoned, its people migrating to other villages in the region.

In 1934, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs issued a call for all Tribal members to return to the area.  Under the Indian Re-organization Act, 14 members of the Tapia, Villarial, Romero, and later the Gutierez/Montoya families were awarded land grants in the Pueblo land base.  In 1936 the Pueblo of Pojoque became a federally recognized Tribal Reservation wutg 11m963 acres and current Tribal enrollment at 263 members.

Pojoaque is currently undergoing an economic renaissance due to Tribal economic development efforts in the Pojoaque basin area.  These projects include the Pueblo’s Cities of Gold Casino, Tribal and non-Tribal businesses, the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum, and the downs racetrack in Santa Fe.

In 1973, Pojoaque Pueblo’s progressive approach led to the election of the first woman governor in the Rio Grande villages, Thelma Talachy.  At present the Poeh Cultural Center is responsible for undertaking a vocational/educational approach to teaching Native Studio art to Indian students as part of a process of cultural regeneration.  Annual traditional dances open to the public are Pojoaque’s Feast Day December 12 and Reyes Day dances on January 12 on the plaza.

Source:  Pojoaque Pueblo: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Sandia Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “San-dee-ah- Traditional Name: NA-FIAT

Sandia Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located  8 miles north of Albuquerque, Sandia Pueblo is perhaps the least known and understood of the dozens of Pueblo cultures than once dominated the Rio Grande Valley.

It has been a bustling and thriving community dating centuries before Europeans entered the area and Sandian ruins in the area date to a time before Charlemagne ruled Europe as “Emperor of the West”.  The Tiguex Province, as it is known, once included as many as 20 Pueblo cultures, with Sandia being the largest.  Juan de Onate, in 1598, referred to Sandia as “Napeya” a corruption of the native name “Nafiathe”.  The full native name for Sandia is “Tuf Shurn Tia” or “Green Reed Place”.  Sandia Pueblo, located 15 miles north of modern-day Albuquerque and three miles south of Bernalillo, has been in existence at its present site since 1300.  It was first “discovered” by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who camped with his conquistadors along the banks of the Rio Grande in 1539.

Sandia became a settlement for Spanish explorers in 1617 when it was established as the seat of the mission of San Francisco.  Less than five decades later, Sandia participated in the Pueblo Revolt, a bloody rebellion that exploded simultaneously among the northern Pueblos on August 10, 1680.  The revolt culminated decades of resentment of religious persecution, demands for tribute payment, involuntary labor, and conflicts between religious and civil authorities who demanded obedience from Pueblo Indians.

Antoinio de Otermin, Spain’s governor of what is now New Mexico, ordered the burning of the Pueblo of Sandia several times during the Pueblo Revolt.

The Spanish repeatedly attempted to reconquer the Tiguex Province in 1681, 1688, and 1692.  During each attempt, Sandians abandoned their Pueblo and eventually fled to Hopi lands in Arizona where they resettled in the village of Payupki. Their requests for resettlement were ignored until Father Menchero petitioned Spain’s governor to allow settlement at Sandia and permission for resettlement was granted in 1748.

On May 24, 1762, Governor Tomas Cachupin ordered the Pueblo of Sandia be completely rebuilt and that the Indians were not to be worked as laborers for Spanish farmers until the Pueblo and church were reconstructed.

Sandians were allowed to resettle in their original Pueblo to create a buffer against raiding tribes, such as Navajos and Comanches.  In 1775 Sandia acting as that “buffer” lost 30 sons in an attack from the Comanche.  Sandia was constantly raided by Apaches, Navajos and Comanche until a truce was struck near “Poi P’a Huth” or Friendship Arroyo” in the Placitas area.  During the peace ceremony, a hole was dug to the depth of an elbow.  The representatives spat and dropped half-smoked cigarettes into the hole and vowed never to fight one another.

Historical Boundaries
Sandia’s boundaries were designated by Lt. General Bernardo de Bustamante to be a minimum of one league or about three miles in each direction form the Pueblo’s church, which is now the area of the cemetery.  That edict established the Rio Grande as the western boundary, which measured only 1440 varas from the church.  As one league equaled 5,000 varas, General Bustamante compensated for the western shortage by increasing the distance of the north and south boundaries equally.

The east boundary is the “Sierra Madre called Sandia” which translates the entire mountain.  The original boundaries contained 24,034 acres.  Today, the Pueblo’s acreage is 22,877 as land has been lost to encroachment and condemnation.  The Pueblo is now repurchasing its land and has 1,700 acres in farming and 1900 acres for grazing.  It also leases areas for sand and gravel mining operations and other businesses to more fully utilize land within the Pueblo’s historical boundaries.

Physical Area and Climate
“Mountain arid” characterizes the climate of Sandia and the surrounding vicinity. Community water is pumped from a 530 foot well and another is used for backup.  Water for irrigation of crops is stored at El Vado Lake and ultimately flows into the Rio Grande River where is it fed into irrigation ditches or “acequias” for use by farmers.

Business Enterprises
The 2200 acres of tribal land that stretch from the Rio Grande River to the  Sandia Mountain has a tremendous economic potential that tribal leaders are committed to use for the benefit of their community.  In addition to agriculture, the Pueblo has a diverse economy featuring four major enterprises;
Sand and Gravel mining leases provide royalties on the tonnage extracted
Gaming Enterprise tribal-owned is the largest revenue enterprise.

Source: Sandia Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

San Felipe Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “San Fa-lee-pay” Traditional Name: Katishtya.

San Felipe Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located 26 miles north of Albuquerque,  San Felipe is one of the most culturally conservative of all the Keresan speaking people, passionately retaining their Traditional religion and customs despite relentless pressures from the outside world.

Community values and responsibilities are always subordinate to individual interests so that the strong ceremonial structure and the traditional rituals have kept the San Felipe people a vital and distinctive entity, with a proud heritage of ancient origin.

Although the Pueblo is not more than thirty miles from Albuquerque, the fact that outsiders are not encouraged to visit has made it possible for the San Felipe people to resist the influences of modern life and to maintain their individuality.

At certain times of the year, however, the Pueblo welcomes visitors. San Pedro’s Day festival is a popular event in June, but the Green Corn Dances in May are the main attraction to outsiders and other Pueblo people as well.

Hundreds of men, women and children, dressed in traditional costume, dance throughout the day, accompanied by a male chorus.

The unique features of the Pueblo, the center of the attraction on feast days, is the huge sunken bowl of the plaza, three feet below the level of the surrounding space.  Used for centuries for ceremonial occasions, it has been worn away until today it is an ideal stage for the colorful spectacles.

Farming has been the principal occupation of the men of San Felipe, as well as employment in various trades in Albuquerque.

Because of the revival of interest in native crafts, the intricate beadwork which the women of the Pueblo create is now again available in the shops. Heishe of exceptional quality is again being produced by a few artisans at San Felipe, in the ancient tradition of fine workmanship for which they are noted.

Source: San Felipe  Taos Center

San Ildefonso Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “San Ill-day-fon-so”
Traditional Name: Po-woh-ge-oweenge “Where the water cuts through”

San Ildefonso Pueblo photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of  Santa Fe, San Ildefonso is one of the best known New Mexico Pueblos because of the famous black-on-black pottery which originated there and which was revived in the nineteen-twenties.

At that time San Ildefonso, like many other Pueblos, was suffering a severe economic depression.  Long standing internal conflicts, encroachment upon tribal lands by squatters and illegal cutting of timber all contributed to the low subsistence level to which the Pueblo had fallen.  When American Indian crafts began to be popular with collectors, it was fortunate for the San Ildefonso people, because although the Pueblo population was small, there were a number of skilled artisans, makers of pottery and painters, who set to work to improve the economic condition of the Pueblo.  Before long, the outstanding quality of San Ildefonso pottery became known.  It was then that the famous black pots were revived, primarily because of Maria Martinez.

Today, they command the respect of world-wide collectors of fine art.  Other artists, potters and watercolor painters came to the attention of the public and although the Pueblo is one of the smallest in population, it is among the best known.

The San Ildefonso people have lived in the present site since before thirteen hundred A.D.  They have a strong sense of identity and retain ancient ceremonies and rituals tenaciously, as well as tribal dances.

A particularly important festival is the Buffalo Deer Dance, performed in San Ildefonso’s feast day.

Other dancers are held in June, July and September.  Many painters of the Pueblo have depicted these and other ceremonies in their watercolor paintings.

Education is highly valued by the San Ildefonso people.  They are Tewa speakers, with English as a second language for most of them.  A high proportion of students from the pueblo go on to college after high school or to vocational schools for job training.

Source: The San Ildefonso Pueblo Taos Pueblo Cultural Center

Santa Ana Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “San-ta Ah-na Traditional Name: TAMAYA

Santa Ana Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located 16 miles north of Albuquerque, the location of the original Santa Ana Pueblo is unknown, for all the members of the community either left or were killed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.  After the re-conquest of the New Mexico territory by the Spanish in 1692-1694, the place known as Tamaya or the Old Santa Ana Pueblo was founded about eight miles northwest of Bernalillo.

The people of the Pueblo usually maintain two places of residence, one a farming community along the Rio Grande and the other a traditional home on the north bank of the Jemez River.

Farming was the original occupation of the men of the Pueblo. Today, many of the people of the Pueblo work in the nearby cities.  Most of the population, about six-hundred-sixty-eight people, return to the Old Pueblo for the traditional ceremonies and festivals.  Like many other Indian people, the Santa Ana craftsmen began to revive their ancient arts during the 1970’s when widespread interest in Indian art furnished the necessary stimulant.

Pottery is one of their best products, as well as many fine woven articles, such as belts and headbands.  They have an excellent sales outlet, the TA-MA-YA Cooperative Association, which handles their handicraft, as well as food.

In June and July, the Santa Ana Pueblo conducts several ceremonial dances which are open to the public, notably the Corn Dance, a colorful spectacle which draws the entire Pueblo together and attracts many visitors.

The Pueblo celebrates its annual feast day on July 26, with a corn dance held in honor of the Pueblo’s patron saint, Saint Ann.

On June 24, a Corn Dance is held in honor of St. John, and on June 29, a Corn Dance is held in honor of St. Peter.  Photography is strictly prohibited.  The Santa Ana Pueblo, Tamaya, is a Keresan speaking Pueblo.

Source:  Santa Ana Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Santa Clara Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “San-ta Cla-ra” Traditional Name: Kha’p’oo Owinge (Valley of the Wild Roses)

Santa Clara Pueblo photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of Santa Fe, Santa Clara Pueblo offers visitors a number of highly diverse attractions, from tours of the pre-historic cliff dwellings of Puye to sightseeing, fishing and camping in the nearby canyon.  Because Santa Clara Pueblo has such a large land base, with a wide variety of geographic features , it was possible to make good use of the natural resources for recreational purposes.  There are few places in New Mexico that con compare with the majestic beauty of the landscape of the homelands of the Santa Clara people.  The splendor of the scenery are justly famous in the Southwest.  The Santa Clara Pueblo has emerged with a strong tribal government and a prosperous economy.

Thanks to cultural pride and a strong sense of identity, the Santa Clara people have retained many of their ancient traditions while integrating with the best of what the majority culture has to offer.  The Pueblo has a high regard for education, both the tribal heritage and modern education.  Santa Clara Pueblo people find employment on the reservation as well as in nearby cities.

Some dances and community festivals are open to the public.  In June, St. Anthony’s Feast Day features Comanche Dances.  In August, Harvest Dances and Corn Dances are performed in honor of the patron saint, St. Clare. The language of the Santa Clara is Tewa.

source: Santa Clara Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Taos Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Tä os” (like Laos) Traditional Name: Tuah-Tah

Taos Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of  Santa Fe, Taos Pueblo today stands as the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States.  We have endured even after 400 years of Spanish and Anglo presence.

The crystal clear waters of the Rio Pueblo, which originate high in the mountains at our sacred Blue Lake, still serves as our primary source for drinking and irrigation.  To visit our Pueblo is to experience the spirit and unique way of life that continues mush as it has for nearly ten centuries.

To visit our Pueblo is to experience the spirit and unique way of life that continues much as it has for nearly ten centuries.  The artists of Taos Pueblo produce beautiful handcrafted wares using techniques passed down through generations.

Tanned buckskin moccasins and drums are characterized by simplicity and enduring quality.  Sculpture, painting and jewelry are contemporary expressions of traditional art forms.  We are known for micaceous clay pottery, which has been our utilitarian cookware through the ages.

Today, Taos Pueblo potters are challenged to produce high quality pottery by putting a high polish on vessels.

In 1960, Taos Pueblo was designated a National Historic Landmark; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1992, the Pueblo was admitted by the United Nations to the “World Heritage List,” due to its uniqueness and universal value to the heritage of all mankind.

When you visit Taos Pueblo, you will have an opportunity to learn about our history and culture, as well as to purchase fine arts and crafts.  If you are fortunate to visit on a feast day, you will experience songs and dances that have transcended time and are passed down from generation to generation.

Dances are held throughout the year, and most are open to the public.  While at Taos Pueblo, we ask that you be respectful; do not applaud or interfere with the dances in any way.  Also, no cameras or recordings of any kind are allowed during these ceremonial dances.

Please call the Governor’s office for information regarding fees, facilities, parking and visitors’ guidelines. “ From time immemorial, we have lived in this valley.”

Source Taos Pueblo Taos Center

Tesuque Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Teh-sue-key” Traditional Name: TET-SUGEH.

Tesuque Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located north of  Santa Fe, the Tesuque Pueblo, just north of the city of Santa Fe, is one of the most traditional of all of the Tewa speaking Pueblos, despite having been in contact with outside cultures throughout much of its history.

Archaeologist have determined that the Pueblo existed before 1200 A.D.  Although Tesuque is one of the smallest Pueblos, it had great reverence for its traditional religious ceremonies and stubbornly resisted all efforts by the Spanish and other invaders to change them.

The Tesuque people played an important role in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.  Two of its members were inter-tribal messengers  and spread news of the uprising throughout the territory.

The first casualties were Tesuque.  When the revolt was put down and the Pueblos again came under the control of the Spanish, and later, the Anglo-Americans, the Tesuque people continued to maintain their ancient ceremonies in spite of the pressures of alien cultures.

Farming comprises the primary activity of the Tesuque men, while women produce a great deal of brightly colored pottery based upon traditional designs.  Beautifully modeled figurines, decorated with lively designs, are the specialty of several artists and are regarded as collectable items by many knowledgeable lovers of Pueblo art.

The most popular Tesuque dances which are open to the public are held in the winter.

In November they perform the Harvest dances and in December, the Deer and Buffalo Dances, which are known for the excellence of the costumes and the authenticity of the execution of the dances and rituals.

Source:  Tesuque Pueblo Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Zia Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Zee-ah”

Zia Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Located 16 miles north of Albuquerque, Zia Pueblo is almost invisible.  It is situated on a rocky knoll, where it blends into the landscape like a natural feature of the terrain.

For six-hundred plus years it has weathered the worst that man and nature could inflict upon it — and it has survived.

Although the Pueblo itself is inconspicuous, its Sun symbol is familiar to all New Mexicans, for it is the official New Mexico State  insignia appearing on the state flag and adopted by the New Mexico Legislature in its salute, “I salute the flag of New Mexico, the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.

Zia Pueblo suffered disastrous losses in the Pueblo Revolt.  Six-hundred people were killed and additional conflicts lasting for years reduced the population still further.

They are a small community of agriculture workers and livestock raisers, but they have a strong sense of identity and have produced beautiful traditional works of art.

Prominent among Zia crafts is pottery, unpolished redware with white slip, with decorations in brown or black are produced often with a bird motif.  The Zia tradition is faithfully adhered to; innovation is avoided.  Some Zia painters have achieved recognition for their watercolors.

The traditional language of the Zia Pueblo is Keresan, but many may speak Spanish, some speak Navajo and most also speak English.

The principal festival of the year for the Zia Pueblo is the Corn Dance on the feast day of Our Lady of the Assumption in August.

Wonderful traditional costumes and ceremonies make this an important event in the life of the Pueblo and one which is very attractive to visitors.

Source: Zia Pueblo Taos Pueblo Cultural Center

Zuni Pueblo

English Pronunciation: “Zoo-nee” Traditional Name: SHE-WE-NA.

Zuni Pueblo Seal photo Indian Pueblo Center

Read more about the Zuni  Tribalpedia. There are also Lesson Plans for the Zuni here.

Located 78 miles west of Albuquerque.  A Zuni Legend tells the story of the parrot and the crow, each of whom presents and egg to the Zuni women to decide which one they will keep. The women choose the egg of the crow because of its wonderful turquoise color. The Zuni love of color is reflected everywhere in the their daily lives, as well as in their ceremonies.

Especially noticeable is the quality of the widely acclaimed jewelry they produce, fashioned of turquoise, shell and jet set in silver in intricate mosaic or inlay patterns.

The mosaic is made by laying one stone next to another with no silver in between, while the inlaid or channel work surrounds the individual stone with silver.

They are also known for fine beadwork, making belts and necklaces and even figures of beads. Zuni artisans carve exquisite animal fetishes from translucent shell.

While comparatively little pottery is made by Zuni craftsmen, they have a tradition of beautiful work in clay and still use their work in ceremonies.

The murals of Alex Seowtewa in the Mission Church of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in the plaza of the Pueblo are remarkable examples of Indian painting oat its best.

They depict the history and the culture of the Zuni people and demonstrate once more the Zuni genius in the use of color.

The church itself is a good example of traditional Pueblo architecture.

One of the most famous of the Kachina dances, Shalako, is held every December in the Zuni Pueblo, to celebrate the end of the old and the beginning of the New Year, and to bless all of the houses of the Pueblo erected during the year.

The costumes of the dancers are unsurpassed in color and design.

This ceremony, which begins with a ritual crossing of the small river which runs through the Pueblo and then makes its way through all the streets, takes most of the night.

People from all over the country and even foreign countries come to see this impressive spectacle.

There are other occasions when visitors may see the Zuni dances: in June, the Rain Dance and in August there are a number of events during the McKinley County Fair, which is held at the Pueblo.



Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of Texas

Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo

The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (“the Pueblo”) is a U.S. federally recognized Native American tribe and sovereign nation. The Pueblo is one of three tribes located in Texas and the only Pueblo located in the state. The Tribal community, known as “Tigua”, was established in 1682 after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Since then, the Tribe has retained a significant presence in the El Paso region that helped pave the way for the development of the area. The Tribe maintains its traditional political system and ceremonial practices and continues to flourish as a Pueblo community. Tribal enrollment is over 1,600 citizens.

Ysleta del Sur Tigua Pueblo . 2jpg

The Pueblo has been an active participant in the regional business community for almost 40 years. The Tribe strives to establish a business-friendly environment while addressing the unique needs and culture of the Pueblo. It owns and operates a diverse set of Tribal enterprises and corporations that provide employment for both tribal members and the El Paso community. Income from these businesses is used to fund essential services, such as health care, education, law enforcement, tribal courts, elder assistance, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and for the general welfare of the Tribe. This system helps advance the Tribe toward self-determination and self-governance.

By participating in the local economy, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is empowered to plan its strategic direction and pursue its economic goals, not only for the Tribe, but also for the stakeholders who play a crucial role in the Pueblo economy. To accomplish its goals, the Tribe is currently engaged in a Nation Building process and several economic development initiatives designed to be mutually-beneficial to the Pueblo and to the customers and companies that work closely with Pueblo.

Visit Pueblo Indians I: The History


Tigua website