One of the most interesting aspects of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo life for the visitor to the Oke Owinge Arts & Craft Cooperative are the numerous ceremonies that take place throughout the year, under the auspices of the two-part social system, the Winter People and the Summer People.
The Deer Dance, for example, which is performed to assure prosperity for the coming year, is conducted by the Winter People in January or February.
As in many other dances, humor is an important element, here furnished by caricatures of Apache hunters, who stalk the dancers and pretend to hunt them with sunflower stalk arrows. There are Buffalo Dances, Basket Dances and a Cloud Dance at various times of the year, and at some of them, the traditional clowns accompany and tease the serious dancers.
The Ohkay Owingeh people have a complex and fascinating cultural history. They divide the physical world into three parts: the village and surrounding land, which is the realm of the women, the second circle is comprised of the hills and mesa surrounding the first circle and is the realm of both men and women: the third circle emcompasses all beyond the second and is the world of hunting and protection form a hostile outside world, and this is the exclusive realm of the men.
All ceremonies and dances are centered on this division of influences and relate to various aspects of daily and seasonal life.
Great importance is placed upon the teaching of responsibility. Although many Ohkay Owingeh people work outside the Pueblos, most of them return for ritual occasions and ceremonies.
Their language is Tewa.
English Pronunciation: “O-keh 0-weeng-eh”
Traditional Name: Ohkay Owingeh
I-25 north to Santa Fe, 84/285 north of Santa Fe 24.3 miles, junction with NM 68 in Española, 4 miles north on NM 68, junction with NM 74, 1 mile west on NM 74.
Learn more about the distinctive art forms of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo at Shumakolowa Native Arts.
|Title||“Diego and his burro, San Juan Pueblo“, New Mexico|
|Creator||Jackson, William Henry|
|Date Original||1875 – 1880?|
|Physical Format||photograph; image/jpg|
|Source/Subject File||Indians-San Juan|
|Notes||Original is 10” x 13“|
|Date Digital||2012 – 09|
|Rights||Use information available at http://www.palaceofthegovernors.org/photo_request.html|
|Order Information||To order photos visit http://www.palaceofthegovernors.org/photo_order.html|
|Publisher||Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe|