New Mexico’s 22 Native Indian Tribes offer New Mexico visitors a True adventure steeped in rich history and culture.
Approximately 1,500 years ago Ancestral Indians, living as hunter-gatherers throughout the Southwest, joined together to establish permanent settlements, commonly known as pueblos. Other groups, such as the ancestors of the Navajo and Apache, continued their nomadic lifestyles. For some New Mexico tribes, this way oflife has continued into the 21st century.
The rich and vibrant Native American history is celebrated today in museums, ceremonial dances, arts and crafts, language, villages and the lifestyle of New Mexico’s tribes. New Mexico tribes have witnessed and experienced many changes in their long histories, but the development of modern casinos, resorts, hotels and golf courses for their visitors have greatly improved their economic status.
The tribes welcome visitors to experience their living culture: Come visit the nations that walk in two worlds. Remember that each tribe is a sovereign nation and must be treated with respect and honor.
Enjoy your journey into a world of ancient tradition.
Order a Native America Guide to New Mexico today. Click here to order your guide today!
See a calendar of tribal feast days, festivals, and other events click here...
Pueblos, Tribes and Nations
Acoma - Acoma Pueblo also known as "Sky City," is built on top of a 367-foot sandstone mesa.
Cochiti - Cochiti is the northernmost of the Keres-speaking pueblos with a population of about 1,502.
Isleta - Originally established sometime in 1300s, the name Isleta comes from the Spanish language and means "Little Island."
Jémez - The Pueblo of Jemez is the only remaining village of the Towa-speaking pueblos in New Mexico and is surrounded by colorful red sandstone mesas.
Jicarilla Apache Nation - Nomadic in nature until just before European contact, the Jicarilla tribe established trade with Taos and Picurís pueblos. They wandered and traded as far east as Kansas until they settled deep in the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the mid-1720s.
Laguna - Keresan-speaking Laguna pueblo has six villages (Encinal, Laguna, Mesita, Paguate, Paraje and Seama) and is home to a notable business and industrial community.
Mescalero Apache Reservation - The Mescalero traditions remain strong as they develop a strong economic foundation.
Nambé - The Nambé Falls Recreation Area, located above the pueblo, offers swimming, lake fishing, a stunning double-drop waterfall and camping.
Navajo Nation - The Diné (Navajo) Nation stretches across three separate U.S. states. The largest U.S. Indian tribe, the Navajo Nation consists of more than 298,000 members, about 106,807 of whom live in New Mexico.
Ohkay Owingeh - Ohkay Owingeh, known as San Juan Pueblo until the community returned to its pre-Spanish name, is the headquarters of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council.
Picuris - Picuris is located in an isolated valley in the northern hills of New Mexico. They refer to themselves as the "People of the Hidden Valley."
Pojoaque - The Pueblo of Pojoaque has always owned its land in communal title – the Pueblo has never been a federal reservation. The pueblo, located 12 miles north of Santa Fe, has two hotels, a casino and a world-class golf course.
Sandia - Originally named Nafiat, the pueblo was deserted in 1680 when the residents fled to Hopi Pueblo during the Pueblo Revolt. The people of Sandia did not return until the mid-1700s, and their old village is evident in ruins near the church.
San Felipe - The pueblo is well-known for its beautiful dancing, particularly for the Feast of St. Philip on May 1, when hundreds of men, women and children participate in traditional Green Corn Dance.
San Ildefonso - San Ildefonso is best known as the birthplace and home of the late Maria Martínez, who along with her husband, Julian, developed the world-renowned black-on-black pottery with black matte designs.
Santa Ana - Santa Ana Pueblo has a long history of progress. In 1709, the pueblo purchased 5,000 acres along the Río Grande to increase its agricultural production and land base.
Santa Clara - Contemporary Santa Clarans believe their ancestors first lived in the nearby Puyé Cliff Dwellings, including Top House, a ruined mesa top village built along a stunning cliff face in Santa Clara Canyon.
Santo Domingo- The village people have a distinguished history of making fine jewelry and heishi.
Taos - Taos is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. It continues to enchant visitors as it has done for the past 1,000 years.
Tesuque - The name Tesuque is a Spanish variation of the Tewa name, Te Tesugeh Oweengeh, meaning the "village of the narrow place of the cottonwood trees."
Zia - Zia Pueblo is the birthplace of the familiar ancient sun symbol, which sports multiple stylized rays radiating in each of the traditional four directions from a central sun.
Zuni - New Mexico's most populated pueblo was the first native settlement visited in 1540 by Spanish explorers, who thought it was one of the legendary Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola.