I-25 north to Santa Fe, 84/285 north of Santa Fe 24.3 miles, junction with NM 68 in Española, 20 miles north on NM 68, junction with NM 75 in the vicinity of Dixon, 13 miles east on NM 75. There is a sign on the highway | 575-587-2519 |
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 The old ceremonies and rituals had been replaced by Christian religious practices and the tribal government had yielded to the Spanish authorities and later the Americans.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.