Mixed Media

12th an­nual Pue­blo In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tion; John Mid­dle­ton lec­tures on “Never Be­fore Seen Here: Baroque Stage­craft in the Span­ish New World”

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Mu­sic, art, good food, and — if you want it — ex­er­cise are on the pro­gram on Sun­day, Aug. 9, with the 12th an­nual Pue­blo In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tion to com­mem­o­rate the Pue­blo Re­volt of 1680. On Aug. 10th and 11th of that year, Pue­bloans, with some Apache and Navajo al­lies, staged a mass re­bel­lion against Span­ish col­o­niza­tion and the Fran­cis­can mis­sion­ar­ies’ at­tempts to erase na­tive re­li­gions they con­sid­ered “de­monic.” The day be­gins with a com­mem­o­ra­tive run at 7 a.m. from the Je­mez Pue­blo plaza to the Je­mez His­toric Site. The public is welcome to par­tic­i­pate in the 12-mile run, which re­calls “the run­ners who came to in­form Je­mez Pue­blo of the re­volt, and the Je­mez run­ners who joined with their Tewa, Tano, and Keres brethren to the siege at the cap­i­tal of Santa Fe,” said Matt Bar­bour.

Bar­bour is man­ager of the Je­mez His­toric Site, one of seven his­toric sites ad­min­is­tered by the New Mexico Cul­tural Af­fairs Depart­ment. He is a state ar­chae­ol­o­gist, but the mis­sion at Je­mez is not about dig­ging any­thing up; it’s about preser­va­tion, in­clud­ing “the pro­tec­tion and sta­bi­liza­tion of the ru­ins,” he said. “We try to keep them look­ing as they did when ar­chae­ol­o­gists found them in the 1880s. We’ve had more rain than usual — the weeds are a never-end­ing bat­tle — but we’ve had no flood­ing at the his­toric site and there has been no dam­age to the ru­ins.”

The site holds ru­ins of Giusewa, a 500-year-old In­dian vil­lage built by the an­ces­tors of the present-day peo­ple of Je­mez (Wala­towa) Pue­blo, and of the San José de los Je­mez Church. The stone-walled church with a dis­tinc­tive oc­tag­o­nal bell tower was com­pleted by the Fran­cis­cans in 1625 but was aban­doned in the same cen­tury. Giusewa was oc­cu­pied un­til the Pue­blo Re­volt, af­ter which the Je­mez peo­ple re­lo­cated to nearby mesa sites they could bet­ter de­fend against chronic at­tacks by Apache and Co­manche In­di­ans.

The cel­e­bra­tion at the Je­mez His­toric Site starts at 10 a.m. with Bar­bour and Je­mez Pue­blo of­fi­cials of­fer­ing an in­vo­ca­tion and welcome. From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be Na­tive food and arts and crafts for sale, dances by groups from the pue­b­los of Je­mez and Zuni, and mu­sic per­formed by Adrian Wall. Visi­tors also have ac­cess to a cer­e­mo­nial kiva that was re­cently re-roofed. Such Na­tive re­li­gious struc­tures are typ­i­cally closed to all but tribal peo­ple. “That’s right,” Bar­bour said, “but here you can come and ex­pe­ri­ence a kiva as it was in the 17th cen­tury, and get a coun­ter­point to the Span­ish mis­sion that dom­i­nates the land­scape above it.”

Park­ing for the free cel­e­bra­tion is avail­able at Je­mez His­toric Site, just north of Je­mez Springs on N.M. 4. Those want­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the run be­gin at the Je­mez Pue­blo plaza, about 12 miles south. For more in­for­ma­tion, see www.nm­mon­u­ments.org/je­mez or call 575-829-3530. — Paul Wei­de­man

Run­ners at the 2013 Pue­blo In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tion

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