Seniors Learn About Acoma Sky City

Acoma Pueblo’s Sky City is situated on a 370 foot high mesa located about 45 minutes west of Albuquerque and an hour east of Gallup. Seniors discover that this is the homeland for the Acoma people with over 300 homes and structures on the mesa which are owned by Acoma women. These houses are passed down from family to family.

Sky City has the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. There are a couple of other sites that also claim this fame, such as St Augustine Florida, and Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. Acoma families have lived in a traditional Pueblo, high above the desert floor, since the early 1100s.

Sky City is on the National Register of Historical Monuments, but it is owned and operated by the Acoma People that trace their ancestry to nearby Chaco Canyon. Sky City has served as the physical and spiritual homeland for the Acoma people.

Hour-long guided tours take senior visitors to this amazing mesa. You will see the ancient Pueblo, the Mission and have an opportunity to shop for Acoma pottery that dates back more than 1,000 years. Dense local clay, dug up at a nearby site, is essential to Acoma pottery.  The Acoma are best known for their handsome pottery.

Seniors, Meet the Acoma People

The Acoma are one of the rare native tribes who have been one people living continuously on their land for over 2000 years. In their oral history, they go back even further. The location of the Sky City is beautiful as senior travelers approach, with perpendicular cliffs reaching three hundred fifty feet in the air.

Senior visitors will want to sign up for a tour of the old pueblo high atop the mesa. From the cultural center a shuttle will take you up the hill and an Acoma guide will take  you around the village, through the mission and past many pottery vendors.

Francisco Vaques de Coronado’s army visited Acoma in the year 1540 and became the first white man to ever enter Sky City. He described Acoma as: “One of the strongest ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock. The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top. The houses are three and four stories high.”

Saint Stephen’s mission church, a National Historic Landmark, is another must see for senior visitors. Wikipedia has Sky City all tied together for you with helpful information and advice for first-time visitors.

New Mexico welcomes you with color and art, music and dance, breathtaking landscapes, and a heritage of Indian, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures that cannot be found in any other state in the union. From prehistoric times until the present, cultures and tribes have journeyed through New Mexico’s land. So when you travel to New Mexico, don’t miss Acoma Sky City.  jeb

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