Friday, October 16, 2009

Acoma Pueblo Sky City

Yesterday was our trip to the Acoma Pueblo Sky City...definitely worth the 70 mile trek. In order to go to the top of the mesa, which dates back to the 12th century and is still occupied by the Acoma people, we had to take a guided tour. And we had to purchase a camara permit in order to take pictures. The permit cost $10 and was worth it! The shuttle bus took us to the top and from there a tour guide took us on a 3/4 mile foot tour through the entire 'neighborhood'. Today there are only 40 families that live up there, and in talking with one of the women who sells her pottery, she said that she has a house about 12 miles down in the Acoma community, but she comes up here to stay quite often. This seems to be the case for most of the families.

An interesting fact about Sky City is that the homes are never bought or sold, but are passed down from generation to generation on the mother's side. The mother passes the house to the youngest daughter, believing she will outlive her siblings. There is no running water, plumbing or electricity. There are outhouses throughout the community and catch basins for water. Generators are used for electricity. The woman I spoke with likened living there to camping. Here's a link for a bit more history for anyone who is interested:

There were several bread ovens throughout, used for baking bread and roasting corn.

As we walked through the community, there were several tables of pottery set up along the way, in front of various homes. This pottery was sold by the families and as we walked by, they would come out of their home to greet us and show us their pottery.
We bought a lovely wedding vase, similar to the one that Ed and the vendor are holding. This vendor lives in Sky City and invited us into his studio! All of the Acoma people we encountered were very friendly! Anyway, the bride drinks out of one side, and the groom drinks out of the other. We thought this was an appropriate purchase for never know when we'll tie the knot! The nice thing about this pottery was that we knew it was crafted by the Acoma people and not a replica.

After the tour, we stopped at the Sky City Casino (owned by the Acomas) and of course I had to feed the slot machine...but I left with what I brought...yeah! We had lunch there...a lunch buffet that was really good!

More later!

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