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Native Americans: Past & Present
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An outdoor, wood burning, earthen oven is called an horno, the Spanish word for oven.  These are still in common use today by the Pueblo Indians to bake bread.
Many Indian pueblos have been inhabited for many hundreds of years.  Some of the original rock and mortar buildings are still in use, mixed in among more modern buildings of adobe and block.
Many of the Pueblos allow, and even encourage, tourism.  Tourists bring much needed income to the tribes and to individual vendors of hand made crafts.  Some pueblos are only open to visitors on selected holidays.  Most prohibit photography and videos to some extent.
New Mexico’s distinctive Zia sun symbol was inspired by a design found on a 19th century water jar from Zia Pueblo. The design represents a circular sun with linear rays extending in four directions. To the Zia people and other cultures, four is a significant number. It is embodied in the four directions of the earth, the four seasons of the year, the four times of the day: sunrise, noon, evening and night, and in life’s four divisions of childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Everything is bound together in a circle of life, without beginning, without end. The Zia also believe that in this Great Brotherhood of all things, humans have four sacred obligations: they must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and a devotion to the welfare of their people.
The Santa Maria de Acoma Mission Church is on the valley floor of the Acoma reservation,  not on the mesa top.  It was built in 1933 in traditional Spanish Colonial style from the native sandstone.  It is not open to the public, but it is lovely to photograph on the exterior.
Enchanted Mesa in western New Mexico was once home to the Acoma people.  After living there a short time, they moved to the nearby mesa-top community called Sky City.  Today, the top of Enchanted Mesa is closed to everyone.
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Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people. It lies about 1 mile north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico, USA. The pueblos are considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. This has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Petroglyph National Monument is located west of Albuquerque.  It protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites and an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; others are more complex. Their meaning was, possibly, understood only by the carver.
While not a food of the pre- Columbian southwestern Indians, fry bread has become a staple in thier diet and as an offering to tourists.  It is made from a white flour dough deep fried in a big kettle of hot oil.  Most commonly, it is drizzled with honey.  Another delicious variation is the Indian Taco - a piece of fry bread is covered in meat, beans, cheese, chili sauce, cheese, lettuce and tomato. 
Indian dances in traditional costumes are a fairly common sight in New Mexico.  You can probably find a way to see a dance demonstraton or an actual festival dance during your visit by checking with the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque or clicking on our Upcoming Events tab to see the calendar of dances at the various pueblos. 
A great day trip to the Salinas Pueblos will give you many opportunities to view ancient pueblo ruins and the ruins of Spanish mission churches that were built with the slave labor of the conquered Indians.  The headquarters for the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is in the quaint town of Mountainair, New Mexico.  All the ruins are within a 30 mile drive or less from Mountainair.  Mountainair, itself, has many fun galleries and stores.  The only cafe, Ancient Cities, is sort of a dive, but serves comfort food with a smile.