USA Historic Preservation Tour – Fifth Award Presentation in New Mexico

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Historic Native American Adobe Village — the Oldest Inhabited Community in North America!

As we entered the state of  New Mexico this sign welcomed us, and “Land of Enchantment” describes it perfectly!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Tour and New Mexico
The sign as we crossed the border into New Mexico

Before I tell you about the fascinating place that is the subject of my award painting,  here are some views of the New Mexico landscape.

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Tour and New Mexico
On the road in The Land of Enchantment
The ruins of a historic Adobe Building in New Mexico
The ruins of a historic Adobe building in New Mexico

One tends to associate historic preservation with old historic buildings in architectural styles such as Federal, Colonial, Victorian, Craftsman etc, but long, long before any of these buildings broke ground, the Acoma Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, lived a-top a 365-foot mesa plateau in a tribal settlement in hand-crafted adobe dwellings that utilized the natural resources they had available. Located about 60 miles west of Albuquerque, the isolation and location of the Pueblo has sheltered the community for more than 1,200 years, which sought to avoid conflict with neighboring Navajos and Apaches tribes.   Due to its elevation, Acoma Pueblo it is often referred to as “Sky City”.

Theresa Pasqual, a preservationist and archaeologist who is the Director of the Acoma Pueblo’s Historic Preservation Office, has been a tireless advocate to the historic preservation of Acoma Pueblo, dedicating her career to protecting what matters most to the people of the pueblo. Hence I decided that Theresa should be the recipient of my final award on this cross country tour.

Here is the image of the original painting award I created for Theresa. It’s a pen and watercolor painting of one of the streets within Acoma Pluebo.

Historic Preserved Adobe Homes of the Acoma Pueblo settlement
Historically Preserved Adobe Homes of the Acoma Pueblo settlement

Theresa works with state and federal agencies to ensure that laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act are followed when archaeological sites and human remains are discovered — as when pipelines, roads, mines, or dams are built on  the tribes ancestral lands in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

Gregg Shutiva, the Governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, accepted the award for Pasqual who was unavailable due to a medical situation.   

Gregg Shutiva, the Governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, accepted the award for Pasqual
Gregg Shutiva, the Governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, accepted the award for Theresa Pasqual
Historic Preserved Adobe Homes form the settlement of Acoma Pueblo
Looking up at Acoma Pueblo, I took this photo from the Sky City Cultural Center
Historically Preserved Adobe Homes form the Acoma Pueblo settlement
Another view of the Acoma Pueblo built high on a mesa
Sky City Cultural Center - a historic Adobe Building Replica in Acoma
Bruce walking into the Acoma Sky City Cultural Center
The road approaching the Historic Adobe village of Acoma Pueblo
The road approaching the Historic Adobe village of Acoma Pueblo – it’s windy up there!
Leisa Collins with Historic Preservation Award for Acoma Pueblo
Another view of the beautiful New Mexico terrain surrounding Acoma Pueblo

We enjoyed out time at the Acoma Pueblo. It was great meeting Governor Shutiva too and we learned a lot more about Acoma Pueblo and its people from him.  He also showed us a series of beautiful framed photos that are on display in the Acoma Pueblo tribal center which were taken in the early 19oo’s.

It was time to move on. Before we leave New Mexico I thought you might enjoy some photos of Santa Fe, a colorful city and famous artist destination that we passed through on the way.

Historic Building of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cathedral of St Francis.
Historic Building of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cathedral of St Francis.
Historic Adobe building in Santa Fe NM
One of the many art galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This one is on Canyon Road.

Nearly there, another 600 miles to go before reaching Los Angeles!

Leisa