Pojoaque

Pueblo History

    P'osuwaege - The Water Drinking or Gathering Place
  • Language: Tewa
  • Size: 11,963 acres
  • Population: About 260

The area of Pojoaque Pueblo saw its first settlers in the 500's CE. The lifestyles of those settlers evolved in parallel with the rest of the Anasazi world except for the great migrations in the 1200's-to-1400's. Because Pojoaque was already beside the Rio Grande, it only saw population rise until it peaked right after the Spanish arrived. The mission San Francisco de Pojoaque was built in the early 1600's. Right after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 happened, Pojoaque was abandoned and the people moved to places where they felt safer from any Spanish reprisals. Around 1706 people began resettling in the pueblo area and by 1712 there were about 80 residents. Once New Mexico was in the hands of the Americans, the pueblo started feeling increased pressure from incoming settlers. President Abraham Lincoln finally gave the people a land grant and that helped for a while. Then around 1900 a severe smallpox epidemic killed the village's last Cacique and the governor left to find work somewhere else. That led to the pueblo being abandoned again.

An Act of Congress in 1933 caused the Bureau of Indian Affairs to publish ads in local newspapers asking for Pojoaque tribal members to return or face complete loss of their heritage. The people began to return in 1934 and they successfully became a Federally recognized Indian Reservation again in 1936.

Today, Pojoaque Pueblo is most known for its Buffalo Thunder Resort: hotel, golf course and casino. Very little pottery comes out of Pojoaque any more and the little that does often comes with the name of another pueblo attached.