The timeless culture of the American Indians who inhabited New Mexico continue to influence the state. Some of the ways to experience this during a visit to Santa Fe include:
Several Pueblos are easily accessible and can make for an enriching adventure during your stay in Santa Fe. Nambe Pueblo - "People of the Round Earth", dates back to the 1300s and is located in the beautiful Sanger de Cristo Mountains amongst waterfalls and a lake Ohkay Owingeh - "Place of the Strong People", only the people born here could declare war for all of the Pueblo Indians due to the great strength they possessed San Ildefonso Pueblo - "Where the Water Cuts Through", early residents settled here from Colorado where they fought Spanish soldiers during the Spanish reconquest in 1694 When visiting the Tribes and Pueblos of New Mexico, visitors should be aware that each is a “self-governing” community with its own rules and regulations. It is highly recommended to plan ahead and ensure they are open for visitors, confirm which areas are open to the public, and be sure to observe the etiquette specific to each community or event.
The Native Americans of the Southwest pass down their traditions to generations by continuing to create many varieties of stunningly beautiful arts, crafts, and jewelry many of which are tied to celebrations and ceremony. Due to their spiritual nature, Native American art often symbolizes their beliefs and visions. There are many places in and around Santa Fe Plaza to peruse and purchase art or jewelry. Each summer, Santa Fe hosts its annual Indian Market which is the world's largest featuring jewelry, textiles, baskets, wooden carvings, sculptures, drums, leather goods, and more!
Throughout the year, there are a number of Native American celebrations, ceremonial dances, and Feast Days. Although all are welcome to enjoy the celebrations, there are basic rules for courteous behavior that should be observed. As the dances performed at many celebrations are religious in nature they should be observed with respect and quiet attention. Applause after dances is not appropriate. During feast days, it is common for families to open their homes and kitchens to guests but lingering or offering more than a genuine thank you for the hospitality is not customary. These tribal communities have strict rules about snapping pictures or sketching while visiting their communities or during celebrations so it is best to find out in advance about the permits, fees, and restrictions at each community prior to visiting.
Cover Image Photo Credit: TOURISM Santa Fe