Today we took a drive about twenty miles East and visited the Acoma Pueblo. It was particularly interesting because it is still inhabited by members of the tribe. It is considered the oldest, continuously inhabited settlement in the country. The Pueblo (called “Sky City”) is at the top of a 370 feet mesa without any running water or electricity. Our Guide showed us his house.
A road to the top was only built in the 1920’s so that a movie could be built. We chose to hike down the original “stairs” along the side of the mesa. There were handholds that had been worn away in the rock that made the steep climb manageable.
They don’t really encourage photography, so we don’t have any pictures. You could take pictures on the reservation, but you had to pay for a $10 permit. In the end, I think I enjoyed the tour more not worrying about the camera. The mesa was really peaceful and quiet. Since the homes are still inhabited, they appropriately weren’t open for viewing. You could go in the church that was built in the 1600’s. The cemetery on the mesa is only used for tribe leaders and military veterans.
Here is a link to photos that I found on the web: http://www.chrylab.com/acoma.html
We saw a lot of beautiful pottery being sold by the inhabitants. I did buy a ceramic Christmas ornament that was painted with traditional symbols and markings. We also bought a Fry Bread and Apple Pie from the locals.
We’ll be here for one more day and then we are heading North to Navajo Lake and the state campgrounds.