Acoma Pueblo (Sky City) as
it appears today.
Second only to the Hopi village on Third Mesa, the Acoma Pueblo is one of the oldest villages still in North America. Located eighty miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico and sitting on picturesque mesa three hundred and seventy feet above the valley floor, this pueblo is also known as the “Sky City.” It has been inhabited as early as 1100 A.D. The Spaniards, led by Coronado, discovered the mesa in about 1540 A.D. With the Spaniards also arrived the missionaries, who built San Esteban Del Rey, one of New Mexico’s most beautiful missions. As in the case of most other Pueblo Indians, the Acoma are a matriarchal society. Approximately three hundred structures on the mesa have been passed down from mother to daughter and ‘owned’ by the women. Though not all Acoma actually live on the mesa year-round, those residing elsewhere often return to the mesa for visitation and ceremonies. Because of the limited space, which makes it impossible for many more people to live on the mesa, it’s considered to be the greatest honor for tribal members to be given residence on there by the tribal council.
Shown below is a typical Acoma pottery pattern, which dates back several centuries. Unfortunately, my cat damaged my original pot, and it requires restoration. The jar below is a close approximation of the original jar.