Living in the Sky City

Along with the Taos Pueblo reservation, Acoma Pueblo Sky City was certainly one of the most interesting places in New Mexico. The name ‘Sky City’ comes from where they live; top of the 367ft high mesa. They managed to build the houses and the stairs on the top of the rocky mesa. This very isolated reservation has been the land of Acoma people since 1150 AD. Acoma Pueblo has earned the reputation as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America.

Don’t take notes, just listen

In Taos Pueblo tour, we had to purchase a camera pass but no restriction about taking notes. However, the ticket price is included with the camera pass in Acoma Pueblo, we weren’t allowed to take notes. We didn’t get a clear reason why just it’s how they roll things.

Woman owns houses in Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo has a long history with the Spanish. They used the geological advantage they had to survive. After all, they had to go through the horrific massacre, but they are standing tall to this day. There are 300 homes on the mesa and only 30 people are living there all year around. However, they don’t leave their home alone all year; they come back to their mesa and take care of them. To Acoma people, home is a living creature; they live, they talk, and they breathe. Never let home to be lonely. Interesting, according to Acoma tradition, the youngest daughter of the family inherited the house. Hence, all of the home owners are women. I remember when we talked to Albert, one of the Spokane Tribal member, that women were and are the ones who have actual power in the tribe. Men were the one out there hunting and doing things, but women decided what to hunt when to hunt, and what had to be done.

Looking down the Enchanted Mesa and this wonderful view, I felt humble. In front of the wonderful nature, how small we are, and how small I am. It is a harsh life living on the top of the mesa, but I think I could understand a part of it; they love their reservation, history and the tradition. It can be inconvenient, but that’s not the point of having a fulfilled life.

Looking down Enchanted Mesa at Acoma Pueblo Sky City
Looking down Enchanted Mesa at Acoma Pueblo Sky City
View from Acoma Pueblo mesa
The view from Acoma Pueblo mesa
Acoma Pueblo traditional pottery work
Acoma Pueblo traditional pottery work. I bought the turtle for Stephen.
Acoma Pueblo mud brick building
Acoma Pueblo mud-brick building
Acoma Pueblo building and our tour guide
Acoma Pueblo building and our tour guide
Acoma Pueblo building detail
Acoma Pueblo building detail
Acoma Pueblo and yucca plant
Acoma Pueblo and the yucca plant
Acoma Pueblo house roof
Acoma Pueblo house roof
Acoma Pueblo house window
Acoma Pueblo house window
Acoma Pueblo pottery
Pottery and bricks
Acoma Pueblo Bud brick detail
Acoma Pueblo Bud brick detail
San Estaban Church Acoma Pueblo
San Estaban Church Acoma Pueblo
Community drinking water well
Community drinking water well
Acoma Pueblo with Stephen
Acoma Pueblo with Stephen
Acoma Pueblo tour bus
Acoma Pueblo tour bus
Acoma Pueblo Sky City Cultural Center
Acoma Pueblo Sky City Cultural Center

4 thoughts on “Acoma Pueblo Sky City in Photos: Living 367ft Above the Ground”

  1. Hmm, that’s a little strange that you weren’t allowed to take notes… but at least photos were allowed. Beautiful set of photos. The mud brick homes with the contrasting bright blue sky is amazing!

    1. Tell me about it… it surprised me as well. The history behind is such a tragic; so I felt different when I photograph their home and scenery. But, it’s really a beautiful place for sure. Very wild, very dry and very southwestern.

  2. The bus photo looks like a filmstrip. 😀 Anyway, the place looks magnificent and very historic. I feel so much respect for the Acoma people.

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