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Old 01-29-2020, 10:03 AM
 
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I wonder if there's a pueblo where a visitor can be allowed to the area where locals live (the old way, not the modernized lifestyle)? Especially interested in a pueblo where people still practice ancient shamanistic beliefs. You can PM me if don't want to put it out online.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:52 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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New Mexico is home to 19 pueblos: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, and Zuni.

This page is a good starter page: https://www.indianpueblo.org/19-pueblos/pueblos/

My wife tells me we have been to 10 tribes in the past (but not recently)...
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:56 PM
 
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Outsiders often not welcome to rituals and all. You can visit the Taos Pueblo under strict and reasonable rules of behavior, but it can seem weird to watch people go about their lives like zoo animals.

Most pueblo dance observations are open for observation, again, with rules of propriety and courtesy.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:06 PM
 
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Pueblos each have a different yearly celebration that is open to the public, otherwise the pueblo belongs to the inhabitants.

One exception is Taos Pueblo which is open every day, although you will not see many local people outdoors during "open" hours. We still found Taos Pueblo interesting to spend several hours at. I especially enjoyed the dogs that hung out around outside Morning Talk Indian Shop, they were the coolest and handsomest dogs.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:25 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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It's 2020. They are people's neighborhoods, not Colonial Williamsburg: Native Edition.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:29 AM
 
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Acoma Pueblo is also open for tours year-round, there is a good visitor center/museum/restaurant, and the guided tour to the village on top of the mesa is notable for its history, architecture, and stunning views in all directions. The mesa top is mostly used for tours and occasional ceremonial purposes, so you won't see much in the way of typical daily life going on during a tour, since very few people live up there year-round.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmRO8UO9jzI
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Silver Hill, Albuquerque
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
It's 2020. They are people's neighborhoods, not Colonial Williamsburg: Native Edition.
Well put. None of these folks are preserved in aspic. While the Pueblo tribal members I know certainly "practice ancient beliefs" to some extent by participating in tribal ceremonies and religious observances, they also wear blue jeans, drive cars, own businesses, commute to jobs in the city, go to the casino, and watch Netflix and Hulu just like everybody else. If you're looking for people whose way of life is an unaltered slice out of the 18th or 17th centuries, you'll be disappointed - that doesn't exist. While the Pueblos are justifiably proud and protective of their traditional culture, it thrives in no small part precisely *because* that culture is so remarkably adaptable, able to retain core beliefs while also moving seamlessly within mainstream society.

Importantly, secrecy and protectiveness are also key parts of preserving traditional culture. While certain dances and rituals take place on feast days that are open to all (usually the only time most Pueblos welcome visitors), the majority of Pueblo ceremonial life takes place out of the view of outsiders. As other folks have mentioned, most villages beyond Acoma and Taos don't welcome tourists. During many ceremonies, communities regularly close themselves completely to all outsiders (even USPS or FedEx).

That said, there are several groups and individuals in New Mexico that offer tours for interested parties that provide a deeper dive into Pueblo culture. Led by knowledgeable tribal members who know what is appropriate to share with outsiders and what is not, these are great opportunities to experience the richness of tribal culture, as shared by tribal members themselves. Here are a couple I'm aware of:

Tsikunu Tours | Wix.com: Led by Dr. Porter Swentzell, a member of Santa Clara Pueblo and professor at Northern New Mexico college. Porter's family includes a number of influential potters, artists, and farmers and he is extremely knowledgeable about the sites you'll visit.

Native Cultures Feast & Float: Led by Louie Hena, a Tesuque Pueblo farmer, permaculture expert, and activist, and his family, these river-rafting tours focus on the Rio Grande and its importance for Pueblo people.

Zuni Cultural Adventure Tours: Led by Kenny Bowekaty, Zuni Pueblo archaeologist, researcher, and traditional leader, out of the Zuni Visitors Center. Kenny is a very nice and knowledgeable guy and these tours offer a wide variety of options for really immersing yourself in Zuni history and culture. Here is a brochure describing the tours that were offered as of a couple of years ago.

Some folks have already mentioned the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, but if you really want to learn more about the Pueblos from their own perspectives and in their own words, both historically and as they exist today, it's a must-visit. (The restaurant there is pretty good too).

I also recommend the museum at the Poeh Cultural Center at the Pueblo of Pojoaque. It's small, but includes a beautifully done retelling of Pueblo history and culture, again from a Pueblo perspective, as illustrated by ceramic dioramas created by famed Santa Clara Pueblo artist Rena Swentzell (Porter Swentzell's mom).

Last edited by Cactus Hibs; 01-30-2020 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:11 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opossum1 View Post
I wonder if there's a pueblo where a visitor can be allowed to the area where locals live (the old way, not the modernized lifestyle)? Especially interested in a pueblo where people still practice ancient shamanistic beliefs. You can PM me if don't want to put it out online.
Most of them still practice their ancient healing traditions, but they maintain this as a secret from non-Natives. These traditions have their downside, btw, that you could inadvertently end up being a casualty of. Keep your distance for your own personal safety.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:52 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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I would like to clarify, that my comment should not be taken as an obstacle to OP learning about traditional elements of Pueblo culture. There are still many traditions that continue to make up the culture of Pueblo people. It is just that they are as much a part of 21st century society as anyone, even with their tradtional beliefs. As much as, for example, an American in New York City who attends a Catholic Mass with elements of Medieval and even ancient ritual.

The Pueblo people are righfully protective about their culture. Catholic missionaries actively quashed what they could in an effort to Catholicize them (which was partly successful), and the pressures of keeping up with the modern world, a pressure we all share regardless of our ethnic origins, makes them understandably wary of including or sharing many of their customs, especially religious.

I am reminded of a Jemez guy I worked with. We would drive around the northern half of the state working various jobs. One day, in the distance, Redondo peak, the highest peak in the Jemez mountains, was right ahead of us on the road. I noted that Redondo peak (meaning round or rounded in Spanish) was a descriptive, if mundane, Spanish name for such a prominent peak. I asked my friend, who was born of a line of centuries of people who dwelt under it, what the Jemez people called it. "Eagle Mountain." he replied.

My immediate thought was how that was a much more evocative name than 'Redondo' that Eagle Mountain was. But of course, those are English words, so I asked what they called it in Towa, the language of the Jemez Pueblo. "I can't tell you that because we don't say it unless it is important.", that is to say, just saying the 'real' name of the mountain was sacred.

Maybe it is because of this conversation that I reacted to OP with my admittedly dismissive comment. I think Cactus Hibs's response was on point. There are a lot of ways to learn about Pueblo life and customs without being disrespectful, and I encourage OP to look into them.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:17 AM
 
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Not Pueblo, but Navajo - there is a whole series of talks given by a Navajo teacher, Wally, that are absolutely fascinating and extremely informative. Available on YouTube - here's just one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B71mggY0pVY&t=458s
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