|Saints of the Pueblos|
|The icons of the saints in this section, depicts a collectiontitled, “Saints of the Pueblos,” currently owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and created by Dr. Charles M. Carrillo, a scholar teacher and lecturer. Dr. Carrillo is also a renowned Santero (saint-maker) and has dedicated more than 25 years to the history and craft of santos on retablos.
First exhibited at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in 2003, “Saints of the Pueblos” was so popular that an expanded version of the show was installed in 2004 and ran for nearly half a year.
The collection consists of 23 wooden retablos depicting the patron saints of each of the 19 Pueblos including the patron saints of four “lost” Pueblos. Dr. Carrillo employed his doctoral research in archaeology on historic pottery and incorporated the historic pottery design and elements of each Pueblo into the border design of each Pueblo’s patron saint retablo.
Dr. Carrillo also wrote Saints of the Pueblos, a book that explores the topic matter in depth.
Saints of the Pueblos, foreword by Ron Solimon, President/CEO, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; introduction by Most Rev., Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe; the Pueblos, by Joe Sando, Pueblo Historian
Pueblo Patron Saints
In 1590, Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, led an unauthorized colonizing expedition without the Spanish government’s permission, to explore the Rio Grande Pueblos. During the expedition, members of this group erected a cross in the plaza of each Pueblo they visited, although no churches had yet been built. Only one replica of the original crosses remains today. It is at the Zia Pueblo. Along with beginning the practice of giving each Pueblo a patron saint, de Sosa’s group also appointed alcaldes and alguacils (sheriffs) a the Pueblos. Today, all 19 Pueblos of New Mexico plus two or three Hopi villages in Arizona have a patron saint.
The Franciscan fathers who missionized New Mexico in the late 16th and 17th centuries named each Pueblo for a different Catholic saint. It is believed that each of the patron saints was likely chosen for any of several reasons, including proximity to a specifc date, the patron or devotion of the founder of a mission or the Franciscan friar, or the usurpation of a Pueblo ceremony.