(Ken) May 8, 2013. If many of you are like me, the only thing you ever learned about the Pueblo Indians was probably in high school. And that was probably all about how we took everything they had and stole all their lands.
After a honeymoon cruise that made a stop in Mexico and a guided excursion to see some Mayan pyramids and ancient cities, we kind of caught a bug to explore ancient societies and cultures. So when Jodi spotted the Acoma Pueblo “Sky City,” in a magazine we had to visit.
About 60 miles west of Albuquerque, it was a straight shot on I-40. Once you exit the interstate, you immediately enter the Pueblo Reservation on the high plateau, and the scenery is fantastic. A short trip through a canyon you enter the mesa.
Scattered throughout the mesa are sand dunes and pueblos. Follow the signs to the visitor center and you are at the base of “Sky City” Pueblo. A solid rock, almost a flat top Pueblo with cliffs up to 390 feet high! Sounds like a perfect place to build your village.
Originally settled in the early 1100’s It is the oldest, continuously inhabited village in North America. Though the population has varied over the centuries, at its peak, nearly 500 Pueblo Indians resided on the top. Currently, there are 120 registered residences in “Sky City.”
Rich in culture and heritage, each residence is handed down from generation to generation to the youngest daughter. Once a man marries a woman, the man becomes a member of the woman’s family and goes to live in her family’s home. A tradition still practiced today.
With over 900 years of history, there is entirely too much to include here. My suggestion is to visit the Acoma Pueblo and experience it yourself if you are ever in the area. And if Dakota is still a guide, wait for one of his tours.
Also, if you are able; I suggest walking back to the visitors center. The trek back starts off by taking the hidden stairs down a cliff. It’s a bit difficult, but it really gives you an appreciation as to how they supplied their village because it was the only way to the top until the 1920’s, when a road was finally built.