Native Communities

Native Communities

New Mexico is home to 19 Pueblos, the Jicarilla and Mescalero Apache reservations, and the eastern section of the Navajo Nation. Many people who visit New Mexico are curious about the diverse Native American peoples who thrive here. You can make the most of your visit to Native communities if you take the time to learn something about them in advance and be respectful of the fact that you are visiting a tribe's home, not a museum.

Within close range of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture are the eight northern Pueblos, located between Santa Fe and Taos, and the southern Pueblos, located around Albuquerque. Somewhat further from Santa Fe are Acoma, Laguna and Zuni Pueblos, as well as the Apache and Navajo reservations.

Perhaps the best time to visit the Pueblos is when they are holding public "dances," particularly on Feast Days. However, practicing "Pueblo etiquette" is essential: it is important to remember that these dances are ceremonies, and are not being performed for tourists. If you visit a Pueblo during a dance or other ceremony, you should be quiet, refrain from asking questions, and remember that all Pueblos restrict photography. It is best to check with the main office at each Pueblo, or call ahead, to learn about rules for visitors and photography that are specific to that Pueblo.