Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Land of Enchantment

                        A Visit to Acoma Pueblo 

~Sky City~
 If you have ever wondered why the state of  New Mexico is called 'The Land of Enchantment'....this blog is for you.  New Mexico is home to the Native American Pueblo Indians~ there are 19 distinct and different Pueblos here~ each one magical...and when I say magical, I mean magical.   This past weekend I visited Acoma Pueblo and thought you would enjoy a peek~ tho keep in mind, the photos do not anywhere do the real thing justice. West of Albuquerque...about an hour or so, not far, one comes round a bend in the road and WOW...the horizon just opens up and seems to go on forever!  Looking from the top of one mesa out beyond,  you can see Acoma Pueblo, nestled atop its own mesa in the distance.

 Traveling across the valley floor, huge towering rock formations remind one of how tiny we humans really are

 Acoma Pueblo is home to the Acoma Tribe, and sits atop a grande mesa~ I snagged this aerial photo of it off the encyclopedia. It is easy to see why one would want to live atop the mesa~ aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, it was quite secure~ one could see anyone coming from miles and miles.(click to enlarge)

  Acoma is still an active Pueblo, meaning members still live here, and since this is their home, and they are gracious enough to share it, rules must be followed when visiting. All tours are guided, and tickets can be purchased at the visitors center below the mesa. Out of respect, no photos were taken of tribe members or of inside the Mission & graveyard~ so if you want to really experience Acoma~ come and see it with your own eyes!
  You can get all the info you need here on their website.

 The views are amazing~ it is so peaceful. A trip here is like traveling back in time~ there is no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing. The Acoma Tribe is a matriarchal society, meaning that the women are the only property owners~ each home has been  passed down from mother to youngest daughter for generations. Acoma Pueblo dates back to 1100 AD...thats alot of generations!  The only property men are allowed to hold are the sacred Kivas, (which are prayer rooms)

  Everything brought up to the mesa top has to be carried~ the construction materials are mainly rocks and adobe bricks. The oldest constructions are to the center of the mesa top

 Every home has a view no money could ever be enough to buy

 Jai, our tour guide is standing beside a horno. Pronounced, 'huh-where~no' , this one is one of many in the Pueblo still actively used for baking~ not only breads, but savory meats as well.  

 A real mica window hundreds of years old~ 

 Along the guided tour we wandered and zig zagged thru the Pueblo~ many artists had tables set up outside their homes and were all ready to chat up the day. There were paintings, dream catchers, beadwork, and of coarse, world renowned Acoma pottery. 

 One cannot help but be at peace, in a place that is in itself, so peaceful~ there are no blaring televisions or streetlights or power lines to block ones never ending view

 I love the straw showing in the adobe walls~ just beautiful

  Many of the homes are three stories tall, enabling the kitchen to be moved with the changing seasons, in the summer, the kitchen is located on the top floor with heat venting out the roof to keep the lower floors cool, and in the winter, the kitchen is moved to the first floor, where it helps to keep the upper floors warm in the cold months

 This is a kiva, or holy place~ the only buildings men are allowed to own. The unique double ladder has one side for going up, and the other for coming down. Religious ceremonies are held within~

The bell tower of the San Estevan del Ray Mission, built in 1629.  (As beautiful as this mission is,  I look at it and see nothing but sadness and oppression) You can read more about it here

Acoma Pueblo is an amazing place and I hope it perhaps piqued your interest so that if you are at all in the vicinity, you will take the road less traveled and have a visit you will never forget~


Janice Gail said...

Thank you for coming, Rachael. Acoma has to be in my top favorite places in the world to visit, and being able to go with a friend is the best ever!

Diane Guidice said...

Wow. Thank you so much for the stunning tour and narration. What a whole different world .