Anna and I went to the Pojoaque Valley Farmer’s Market the other day. Located at the Poeh Pueblo Cultural Center, it is a particularly wonderful market. We arrived a little early so many of the vendors weren’t yet there or set up, but the quality and variety of the offerings was still sumptuous. To stand on Pojoaque Pueblo land, immersed in its rich and hard-won history, is a privilege. I highly recommend that any of you who are local pay the market a visit.
There are 19 pueblos in the state of New Mexico and Pojoaque is one of them. Located about 20 minutes down the mountain from my home, I drive past and through it often. One of six Tewa speaking Rio Grande Pueblos, archeological studies of the area have dated life in the historic Pojoaque Pueblo to 500 AD, with evidence of large populations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Pojoaque has always maintained a strong cultural identity and was known by its Tewa-speaking neighbors as “Po-suwae-geh,” the water drinking or gathering place.
Pojoaque Pueblo has suffered much upheaval over the course of its history. During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 its inhabitants were scattered to neighboring tribes. In fact at the time of the Re-Conquest of New Mexico by Don Diego de Vargas in 1692, the Pueblo was completely deserted. In 1706 Pojoaque Pueblo was resettled by five families and in the 1800s President Abraham Lincoln gave an official land grant to its inhabitants. Their land was being encroached upon by non-Indians, however, and the Pueblo was further devastated by a smallpox epidemic and drought. So by the early 1900s the Pueblo of Pojoaque was once again abandoned, its people migrating to other villages in the region.
In 1934 the commissioner of Indian Affairs called for all Tribal members to return to the area and the Pueblo became a federally recognized Tribal Reservation.
Today, with 263 members, the Pojoaque Pueblo is experiencing an economic renaissance. At present the Poeh Cultural Center, where the farmer’s market takes place, is responsible for teaching Native studio arts to Indian students as part of a process of cultural regeneration. The center emphasizes arts and cultures of all Pueblo People with a focus on the Tewa-speaking Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Clara and Tesuque and the Tiwa-speaking Pueblos of Picuris and Taos.
IF YOU GO:
2012 FARMER’S MARKET SCHEDULE
Location: Poeh Pueblo Cultural Center, 78 Cities of Gold off Hwy. 84/285
Schedule: Wednesdays, 12 pm – 6 pm and Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm
Market Season: May 23rd – October 14th
Contact: Richard Bernard, (505) 455-9086 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepts EBT, WIC, and Senior checks
Love to you all,