October 28th – Sky City Pueblo, Grandmother Flordemayo
We had a visit to the Acoma Pueblo often called “Sky City” – but called by the Acmoa as “Ha’koo”, or, “The Prepared Place.” The story goes that when looking for a place to have their town, they would go to each place and say “Ha’koo” – and in this particular place their words echoed back directly – and they found it was prepared for them, with a water source and gorgeous rock formations.
The largest building on the mesa was the Catholic Mission – which is used nowadays for 3 services a year, and meantime, for the traditional Acoma dances. There’s a kiva (enclosed ceremonial space) underneath the church that is still used also – our guide told us 70% of Acoma are practicing Catholics, but that simultaneously the traditional religion is practices alongside.
There were tons of painful stories about the Spanish ruling over these people, of revolts, of quellings, and of more revolts.
As it now stands, the Acoma hold half a million acres, are working to revitalize their language, and are now starting to buy back more of their traditional lands. Their pottery is especially gorgeous – featuring intricate geometric lines painted by extremely fine yucca brushes.
It’s an ancient place dating back over 900 years…some of us walked back using a staircase hewn into the side of the mesa – half-ladder, half staircase – the guide told us how the women would carry ceramic water jugs on their heads while hiking up part of the mesa –