New Mexico is home to 23 Indian Tribes (Federally recognized) and is one of the top reasons that travelers love to visit and explore here.
Acoma Pueblo atop the Enchanted Mesa
Known as the Land of Enchantment, the pueblos, reservations and traditions will spellbind you. You might find your true self here. However, if you’re seeking enlightenment from the tribes, you must respect their traditions and beliefs.
If you are fortunate, you may be invited to a Feast Day meal! It’s a special time and there are fabulous ceremonies too.
There are several things you do want to be aware of:
- Pueblo communities are happy to welcome visitors to experience their culture and traditions. Please read and consider the following information and guidelines for visiting our living communities. Please call the Pueblo directly at least two days before your visit to make sure the community will be open to visitors.
- Although most Pueblos are open to the public during daylight hours, the homes are private. Like any village, the Pueblos are home to those who live there and should be respected as such.
- Tribes value traditions, customs and religion. Please keep in mind that tribal dances are religious ceremonies, not public performances. It is a privilege to witness a ceremony. Some actions and/or questions could be offensive, so please refrain from pressing for answers.
- Some Pueblos charge an entry fee. Camping and fishing fees are charged where such facilities are available. Call ahead to find out if there are fees associated with visiting.
- Most Pueblos require a permit to photograph, sketch or paint on location. Some Pueblos prohibit photography at all times. Please check with the Tribal Office for the permitting process before entering the Pueblo. Once a permit is obtained, always ask for permission before taking a photograph of a tribal member. Remember: cameras and film can be confiscated.
- The carrying or use of alcohol and drugs on the Pueblos is strictly prohibited.
- Silence is mandatory during all dances and Pueblo ceremonies. This means no questions about the ceremonies or dances while they are underway; no interviews with the participants; no walking across the dance plaza; and no applause during or after the dance or ceremony.
- Pueblo villages, including Kivas, ceremonial rooms, and cemeteries are sacred places and restricted for use by Pueblo members only.
- Many of the structures are hundreds of years old. Do not scale walls or climb on top of buildings.
- Nature is sacred on the Pueblos. Littering is strictly prohibited.
- On Feast Days and other public observances, enter a Pueblo home as you would any other, by invitation only. It is courteous to accept an invitation to eat, but not to linger at the table, as your host will want to serve numerous guests throughout the day. Thank your host, but a payment or tip is not appropriate.
- Please obey all traffic and speed limit signs. Children and pets play near the roads.
- Also be cautious of livestock on or near main roadways.
- Observe all signage indicating off limits while visiting a Pueblo. If organized tours are offered, please remember to stay with your tribal guide at all times.
- Refrain from bringing a cell phone onto Pueblos. Tribal officials could confiscate cell phones if they feel they might be used for photography or recording.
- Do not remove artifacts, pottery shards or other items from the Pueblo.
- Tribal communities do not use the clock to determine our schedule of activities.
- Start and finish times for ceremonies are determined by nature and by the sequence of events that must take place
For those interested in the Pueblos of New Mexico, read this blog on Touring New Mexico Tribal Lands which outlines which Pueblos have RV facilities available and information on nearby activities.
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