Embark on a historic path built long ago atop a great sacred mesa, where the Acoma Pueblo made their home. This site will take you off the beaten path through a breathtaking valley displaying unique rock formations, where you’ll arrive at a place unlike any other. In this sanctuary, dubbed Sky City, you’ll truly see and experience the culture as it was hundreds of years ago.
The oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, the Acoma Pueblo are a proud people, who began constructing their settlement in 1150 A.D. Descendants of the Anasazi people, the Native American Pueblo dwellings can be found all across the southwest, building into the side of cliffs and on top of mesas for advantageous and defensive reasons. The Acoma Pueblo is one of the most well-known and time-honored of these.
Courtesy, Drive the Nation
Although you’ll take a step back in time when visiting the Sky City, there are actually many residents who still call the dwellings home either full-time or seasonally. It’s fascinating to see that not only are they preserving their culture, they are actively keeping it alive. There’s no water, sewage, or electricity on the mesa still to this day, and 4,800 tribal members in 250 dwellings lay claim to this land. Festivals continue to be held, and while visiting, you can purchase traditional artwork and pottery made by the tribal members.
Courtesy, Will Write 4 Travel
Once you’ve absorbed enough knowledge of the Acoma people, you’ll have the chance to descend the mesa down traditionally used steps. Take care, these steps are steep, uneven, and must be used with caution. If you opt this route, you’ll have to walk all the way back to the Cultural Center, but believe me, it’s well worth it. Modern times have made the dwellings easily accessible, however before automobiles existed, the only way up or down was way of these hand-cut stone stairs. Although their non-technologically advanced community will make you appreciate all of the comforts we enjoy on a daily basis, hopefully you take away the beauty and perseverance of a simple yet ancestral way of life from your visit.