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Acoma Pottery and Acoma Pueblo (PuebloEnglish Pronunciation: “Akk-uh-muh” Traditional Name: Haak’u.) Acoma Pueblo is situated on top of a mesa, hundreds of feet above the surrounding land. It commands a breathtaking view of the countryside, other mesas, and the distant mountains – no wonder it is called Sky City.
Like the hillside towns of Italy, the location was chosen for protection from marauding enemies. Still, the incredible beauty of this panoramic view of the world must have had something to do with the decision for the Indian people to have an intense visual sensitivity, which anyone familiar with their art can readily attest to.
Acoma, which means People of the White Rock, has been inhabited since before the twelfth century. Most of the present-day people have residences in other parts of the reservation or several farming villages, but at no time is the Pueblo on the mesa without several families living in the old houses and caring for the Franciscan mission church of San Estevan, established in 1629 which, with the entire Pueblo has been proclaimed a National Historic Landmark.
The ancient cemetery still stands outside the church, surrounded by an integrating wall surmounted by guardians’ heads.
The thin-walled and delicately decorated pottery of Acoma Pottery is among the most prized Indian crafts. Many fine pieces are on display and for sale in the Visitors Center at the mesa’s base. The Center has a fine museum and features One Thousand Years of Clay, Pottery, and History.
San Pedro’s Day is celebrated in June. St. James and the Corn Dances of Santa Ana’s Day is in July.