2013, Trip Nine, Dec. 26, Christmas in Santa Fe, New Year’s in Flagstaff

Thursday, Dec. 26 Santa Fe

Christmas time in Santa Fe has come to an end. Tomorrow we head out for several days of further adventures before arriving in Flagstaff.

A marker about Tesuque Pueblo

A marker about Tesuque Pueblo

After breakfast at Jude’s, five of us (Bernie, Tony, Jude, Ed and Chris) drove to the Tesuque Pueblo to see one of the ceremonial dances. This was the bow and arrow dance. As mentioned previously, pictures are not allowed on the pueblo so we have none.

The dance was conducted in the center of a square/plaza in front of the Catholic Church and other adobe buildings. The area was unpaved. 54 men performed the ceremony, one “conductor”, one drummer, and 52 dancers. The drumming and chanting reverberated off the walls of the buildings enclosing the plaza.

Chris and Ed at Camel Rock

Chris and Ed at Camel Rock

The men were basically dressed alike with individual touches. Black, long sleeve shirts; a white/beige cape over the back and tied in front of the chest; leggings with a kilt-like covering, moccasins of similar design that appeared to be made of calf skin; a necklace usually including turquoise; a belt with musical shell-like attachments; a rattle in one hand and a bow and arrow in the other.

The dance lasted for 25 minutes. The chanting was either in a native language or just sounds. It was not understandable by any of us but had a rhythm and beat that was very mesmerizing.

At Santa Fe Plaza

At Santa Fe Plaza

After the dance, the men returned to a preparation room off-limits to us. A series of women came from surrounding buildings bringing food into the preparation room. The lunch break was of an indeterminate time, but probably at least 90 minutes according to an onlooker. Since we were visitors to the pueblo, we left. There were not many non-pueblo visitors.

While visitors are allowed to observe this dance, it is not conducted for tourists. We had arrived well before they were ready and drove down a few miles to the well-known Camel Rock for a little walk. The rock formation resembles a Camel-see photo. Chris and I have been here before. When we returned, we had only to wait about 15 minutes before the dance began.

Plaza at dusk

Plaza at dusk

When the dance was over, the five of us took another walk at La Tierra. The wind was a little stronger today and we only did one of the two hikes Bernie, Chris and Ed had done earlier in the week.

Walking at La Tierra

Walking at La Tierra

Then it was back to Jude’s for more dessert. We met Lou and Joyce at their timeshare and walked to Il Vicino for pizza dinner. A walk around the Santa Fe Plaza with window shopping completed the day.

Ed and Chris 8 PM

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