The 19 Pueblos of New Mexico are renowned for their unique and historic art forms, from polychrome pottery to mosaic inlay jewelry. Some of these forms, such as weaving, basketry, drums and pottery are thousands of years old. Today, the Pueblo art community is a vibrant one with hundreds of highly skilled artists who maintain the highest levels of craftsmanship and technical excellence, and there are skilled Pueblo artists creating fine art in both traditional and contemporary styles. These artists honor their ancestors, cultural heritage and the artistic legacies passed down to them, while also pushing the boundaries of what Native American art is. Learn more about the distinctive art forms and renowned artists from each Pueblo at Shumakolowa Native Arts.
A Pueblo is a tribal nation; a body of land under a tribal governmental structure; and a community made up of related people who have similar belief systems, spirituality and lifestyle.
There are 19 Pueblos in the state of New Mexico. They are: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia and Zuni.
There are 3 language families: Keresan, Tanoan and Zunian. There are 5 recognized language dialects: Zuni, Keres, Tiwa, Towa and Tewa.
Zuni Pueblo has the largest enrolled tribal population in New Mexico with about 10,000 people. Pojoaque and Picuris Pueblos have the smallest populations with around 300 enrolled tribal members each.
There are 23 tribes in the state of New Mexico: 19 Pueblo tribes plus the Navajo (Diné), Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache and Fort Sill Apache tribes.
Yes, most Pueblos are open to the public during their annual Feast Days and celebrations. Please contact the Pueblo directly at least two days before your visit to make sure the community will be open to visitors. For more information, see our calendar of Pueblo Feast Days
Since time immemorial, Pueblo communities have celebrated seasonal cycles through prayer, song and dance. These dances connect us to our ancestors, community and traditions, while honoring gifts from our Creator. They ensure that life continues and that connections to the past and future are reinforced. Learn more about traditional Pueblo dances and when you can see traditional dances at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center throughout the year.
A Feast Day is when a Pueblo community comes together to celebrate cultural traditions and participate in our Pueblo dances and ceremony as part of our belief system and way of life. Feast Days celebrate an important date in the life of the Pueblo’s patron saint.
The Hopi people are closely related to the Pueblos, more closely to Zuni. Hopi is located in northeastern Arizona. Hopi and Pueblo people share similar beliefs but are independent villages with their own leadership structures.
Pueblo dances are held on Feast Days and special ceremonial days. Pueblo dance areas are known as plazas and are built between housing structures as central spaces for the community. The plazas are uncovered so Pueblo dancers retain their connection with nature and the Creator as part of our belief system.
The Three Sisters are corn, beans and squash and traditional Pueblo agriculture and cuisine are rooted in these three crops. Together these three foods create a perfectly balanced diet and are also an efficient farming system. Corn provides shade as well as a stalk for the beans to grow upon. Beans provide the nitrogen that is necessary for a successful corn crop and also provide protein in our diet. Squash creates a ground cover that protects the corn and beans from pests. Corn and beans were dried to provide a healthy, balance meal year round. Learn more about the Three Sisters by joining us on a Culinary Tour
A clan system is a family system which includes relatives from the mother’s and father’s bloodline and a structural system which divides people according to the season in which they are born.
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was a successful revolution against Spanish religious, economic and political institutions imposed upon the Pueblos. It is the only successful Indigenous uprising against a colonizing power in North America and resulted in the removal of the Spanish from Pueblo lands for more than a decade. The Pueblo Revolt helped ensure the survival of Pueblo cultural traditions, land, language, religion and sovereignty.
Traditional Pueblo art forms include weaving, pottery, drum-making, jewelry and beadwork. Today there are Pueblo artists creating traditional and contemporary work in all genres. Learn more about Pueblo art forms