Thursday, October 28, 2010

Southwest Boogie Acoma Pueblo

At the recommendation of a friend we set out to visit the Acoma Pueblo (Sky City). This is a village set high up on a mesa. The settlement dates back to the 12th century C.E., and has been continuously inhabited since then.

acoma pueblo homes

Today about a dozen families reside there, many of them working in pottery and beads, selling their wares along the tours.

The drive up to the Pueblo is incredibly dramatic, with rock formations on either side of the road. Scenery in the Southwest is both dramatic and ever-changing. This drive was no exception.

On way to Acoma Pueblo 2

You can only visit the Pueblo on an organized tour. We paid $20 each, which covered the tour and camera permits.

The tour guide told us the residents live without running water or electricity, cooking and heating with wood. This is probably true for many of them. But we found a bit of anachronistic details in a couple of the homes. Can you find one in this photo?

acoma pueblo no electric question mark

(HINT: Look in the upper right corner of the photo.)

Avi and I, being creatures of detail, enjoyed the way of couple of the homes were set apart from the others through a little bit of decoration. One home even had a hummingbird feeder out, though we didn’t see any of the birds around, other than a few House Sparrows, masters of civilization everywhere.

acoma pueblo home detail 2 acoma pueblo home detail

The tour was interesting, the Pueblo was interesting, but, for me, the pottery was the MOST interesting. Inside the visitor center was a piece that will haunt me for years. It was a multi-piece Storyteller Doll – a Grandfather telling a story to many children.

clay storyteller all 2

The detailing is incredible. Every character has a Ladybug somewhere. The Grandfather has a small lizard on his foot and a butterfly on the bolo he wears around his neck.

clay storyteller boy with ladybug

The work is an enchanting piece of art. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the name of the artist. Shame on me!

I left the Pueblo richer by two pieces of pottery, beautifully and painstakingly decorated with natural slips created from the colored clays and sandstone in the area.

We took the tour bus down and continued on to the Painted Desert/Petrified National Forest.

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