(Ácoma Pueblo NM)
Went to see Sky City, the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, at Ácoma Pueblo. It sets atop a tall mesa overlooking other mesas in the desert and Mount Taylor in the distance.
While awaiting the next pueblo tour group, I visited the Haak’u Museum that had exhibits on the Ácoma people, native pottery, and a show of contemporary paintings by an artist from the tribe. There was also a gift shop and café.
A tour of Sky City with a native guide was next. He explained the reasons for building the village up there, and gave a brief history of the tribe. Access was by way of stone steps; the road was a recent addition. There were three large water cisterns, and a spring at the base of the mesa.
The homes were originally constructed using sandstone, with adobe and windows coming much later. During the Spanish occupation, the natives were forced to build the San Estevan del Rey Mission amidst their dwellings. While outwardly accepting the Catholic faith, they continued to practice their own in a secret kiva.
During the tour, native artisans had tables outside their homes displaying their creations of jewelry, pottery, and baked goods. I bought a fresh pie pocket baked in a horno to eat later.
I enjoyed seeing the art, learning about the village, and driving through the surrounding landscape. Afterward, I camped at nearby Bluewater Lake State Park overlooking the lake.
Camp: Bluewater Lake SP-Northpoint CG
Scene: Native pueblo, museum, mission, mesa