Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learning about the Ancestral Puebloans

Today’s agenda included the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center which focuses on the 19 remaining pueblos of northern New Mexico.


We started with the Native American Dancing exhibition which had just started when we arrived. Most were old-time costumes and dances but one was a dancer who competes – the costumes have become much more ornate and colorful than the original ones were.

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This woman’s dance was based on a story about a young girl who was sick but was healed when the village women dressed her in a dress with lots of tinkling things on it.


The young girl danced the Shawl Dance and a young man danced a hoop dance – he also competes.


Then we spent over an hour in the museum which was very well done. Pictures were not allowed in this area. We ate a very colorful lunch in the Pueblo Harvest Cafe and bought a loaf of their bread to take home.


Then we headed up the road a few miles to the Petroglyph National Monument. It is amazing that these are still visible today. Most were “pecked” into these basalt lava rocks about 400-700 years ago although archeologists believe that some images may be 2,000-3,000 years old. We did the three trails in Boca Negra Canyon, one of which climbs atop a mesa overlooking Albuquerque in the Rio Grande valley and the Sandia Mountains.

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There are even petroglyphs of birds that are native to Central America indicating that the Ancestral Puebloans traded with people from far away.


Home, help-yourself dinner and getting things ready for our trip to Santa Fe & Taos tomorrow!

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