The Mesa Verde Area represents the ancestral homeland of the current-day Pueblo people, whose nations are now located in an arc stretching from the Hopi villages in Arizona to the Pueblos along the upper Rio Grande in New Mexico. These people are represented by the Pueblos of Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, Zuni and The Hopi Tribe.
The history and vibrancy of today’s Pueblo people live on in their traditions, dances and artistic expressions. Trading posts and festivals, including the Indian Arts and Culture Festival, provide visitors an opportunity to view traditional dances and experience the timeless artistic traditions of weaving, pottery, jewelry making and other art forms. Although many artists are still quite traditional, some artists are diverting from tradition and exploring new mediums.
Another way to experience the life of today's Pueblo people is to visit their tribal cultural centers and museums, or to observe one of their annual Pow-wows or Feast Days, where visitors may view the reverent dances and songs offered on those days. Pow-wows and Feast Days bring tribal members together to renew their culture, language and native religion.
Know Before You Go
- Consider all Tribal lands and Pueblos as private homes and private property
- Always call ahead to confirm event dates, as well as access to tribal lands
- Although most Pueblos are open to the public during daylight hours, their homes are private
- Some Pueblos may charge an entry fee, call ahead to find out
- Some Pueblos prohibit all photography and any artist image replication
- Some Pueblos require a permit to photograph, sketch or paint on location
- Even with a permit always ask for permission before taking a photograph of a tribal member
- The carrying or use of alcohol and drugs on Tribal Lands is strictly prohibited
- Tribal dances are religious ceremonies, not public performances
- It is a privilege to witness a ceremony
- Silence is mandatory during all dances and ceremonies
- Many of the structures are hundreds of years old
- Please show caution and respect
- Observe all signage indicating OFF LIMITS while visiting
- Refrain from bringing a cell phone to ceremonies
- Do not remove artifacts, pottery shreds or other tempting items
- Tribal communities do not use the clock to determine when it is time to conduct activities, relax and go with the experience.
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
- Southern Ute Tribe
- Navajo Nation