Last modified: 2017-08-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: picuris pueblo | pueblo | tiwa nation | new mexico | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 25 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Picuris Pueblo - Tiwa Nation - New Mexico
Located about twenty miles south of the city of Taos, NM, is the 1,500-acre reservation of the Pueblo of Picuris. The Picuris Pueblo is the second-smallest of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico, with only the Pojoaque Pueblo being smaller. Approximately 200 people reside within the boundaries of the reservation. Picuris is one of four pueblos that are home to the Tiwa-speaking people of the Rio Grande River area, the others being Isleta, Sandia and Taos. The remaining fifteen pueblos belong to either the Keres, Tewa or Zuni people.
© Donald Healy 2008
It is believed that the flag of the Picuris Pueblo is white and that it bears the seal of the pueblo in the center. The seal of the Picuris Pueblo is shown in colors reminiscent of the pottery of the pueblos of the southwest, brownish-red and black with a little of blue. The seal is essentially a circle, the top and bottom of which is the name, Picuris on top, Pueblo on the bottom, both words appearing in black. One the left side of the seal is a small antelope (a major source of meat) and an example of local pottery, while the right side has a feather and two stalks of corn, the main source of food for centuries.
In the center is a representation of a reddish-brown pueblo, complete with a ladder to access the roof where the entrance would be found. The red-brown color recalls the adobe brick employed to make the pueblo. All New Mexico pueblos save the Zuni's are made of adobe. On top of the pueblo is a fire (shown in blue), its smoke rising into a stylized rain cloud. The building lies upon an arch that may represent a hilltop or a rainbow, the exact meaning is unknown. This hill/rainbow is composed of a red-brown structure over a blue stripe. The reddish-brown rain cloud is a stepped pyramid like those found in Mexico, Guatemala or Belize. The cloud's base is a blue stripe and along the border between the blue and the pyramid/cloud are three white elements, the largest being the one in the center. These are semicircles on their upper portion while the bottom tapers downward in a pair of concave arches terminating in a point. From the blue stripe descend a series of vertical blue lines representing rain, a precious gift to the arid lands of New Mexico.
Either side of the central device is bracketed by a blue lightning bolt pointing toward and barely touching the roof of the pueblo.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 25 January 2008