Kewa Pueblo, New Mexico

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Kewa Pueblo (Eastern Keres [kʰewɑ], Keres: Díiwʾi, Navajo: Tó Hájiiloh) is a federally-recognized tribe of Native American Pueblo people in northern New Mexico, in Sandoval County southwest of Santa Fe. The pueblo is recorded as the Santo Domingo Pueblo census-designated place by the U.S. Census Bureau, with a population of 2,456 at the 2010 census.The population of the pueblo is composed of Native Americans who speak Keres, an eastern dialect of the Keresan languages. Like several other Pueblo peoples, they have a matrilineal kinship system, in which children are considered born into the mother's family and clan, and inheritance and property pass through the maternal line. The pueblo celebrates an annual feast day on August 4 to honor their patron saint, Saint Dominic. More than 2,000 pueblo people participate in the traditional corn dances held at this time.


In the 17th century, the Spanish conquistadores named the pueblo "Santo Domingo". Its earliest recorded name was Gipuy. According to Pueblo Council members, the local name in their Keres language has always been Kewa. In 2009, the pueblo officially changed its name to Kewa Pueblo, altering its seal, signs and letterhead.According to the Pueblo of Acoma's Keres Online Dictionary, the Western Keresan-name for the pueblo was Díiwʾi and for its people therefore Dîiwʾamʾé.


Kewa Pueblo is located at 35°30′52″N 106°21′48″W (35.514483, -106.363429). The pueblo is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Santa Fe. Interstate 25 runs 4 miles (6 km) to the east of the community. The pueblo is part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Santo Domingo CDP that overlays the pueblo has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all land.


The 2010 census found that 2,456 people lived in the CDP, while 3,519 people in the U.S. reported being exclusively Santo Domingo Puebloan and 4,430 people reported being Santo Domingo Puebloan exclusively or in combination with another group.The state of New Mexico has reported the population as 3,100.


The pueblo plays a supporting role in Spanish colonial history. Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, a fugitive from the Crown, was arrested at the pueblo in March 1591. Castaño, a notorious slaver, had fled capture. He pursued an illegal claims expedition up the Pecos River, which had not yet been seen by Europeans. He made it as far as Pecos Pueblo, and raided it for slaves. He turned west and traveled toward modern-day Santa Fe, which had been established by the Spanish. He followed the Rio Grande river valley south. On orders of the Viceroy at Mexico City, Captain Juan Morlette found Castaño at Kewa Pueblo and arrested him. He returned him to authorities to face trial for his crimes, including his attack on Pecos Pueblo.Castaño abandoned two interpreters at Kewa Pueblo; he had kidnapped them earlier and brought them with him. Governor Juan de Oñate's expedition recorded encountering Tomas and Cristobal at Kewa Pueblo, as it traveled north.

20th century to present

Potters of Kewa and Cochiti Pueblos have made stylized pottery for centuries, developing styles for different purposes and expressing deep beliefs in their designs. Since the early decades of the 20th century, these pots have been appreciated by a wider audience outside the pueblos. Continuing to use traditional techniques, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, potters have also expanded their designs and repertoire in pottery, which has an international market.


Kewa artists are known for their stonework jewelry, including flat disks or beads called heishi, meaning "shell bead" in Eastern Keresan, which are often made into necklaces.Pottery is an important art form and utilitarian craft from Kewa Pueblo. Large ollas and dough bowls are common forms for Kewa potters. Many Kewa potters are women, although men can also create ceramics. The Aguilar Family, consisting of three sisters, created Kewa pottery from 1910 until approximately 1915 and became very well-known for their artwork.
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