"The origins of Acoma" Top 5 Page for this destination Acoma Pueblo Local Custom Tip by toonsarah

Acoma Pueblo Local Customs: 11 reviews and 14 photos

  Enchanted Mesa from Acoma
by toonsarah
  • Enchanted Mesa from Acoma - Acoma Pueblo
      Enchanted Mesa from Acoma
    by toonsarah
  • Enchanted Mesa from Acoma - Acoma Pueblo
      Enchanted Mesa from Acoma
    by toonsarah

The name of this place, Acoma, is derived from the native word ?Haak?u? which means ?a place prepared?. The people believe they are descended from the one-time inhabitants of Chaco Canyon, forced to leave their home by a prolonged drought. Their ancestors had been told by the spirits ?at the time of emergence?, that is from the very beginnings of their existence, that a place had been prepared in which they would live. So the tribe left their lands in Chaco and wandered through the American Southwest, pausing from time to time to call out ?Haak?u?. When they arrived in this particular valley, their call reverberated off the mountain peaks and returned to them in an echo, telling them that they had at last found their ?place prepared?.

But their first home in the valley was not on this mesa but on nearby Enchanted Mesa, seen to the right of centre in the background of this photo and more centrally in photo two. According to their legends one day, when all but a few elderly women were down on the valley floor below tending the crops, a terrific storm blew up and destroyed their only path up to the top of this mesa. Those left above were trapped and sadly died (some say that they jumped to their deaths rather than face a slow starvation), and the larger part of the tribe abandoned this mesa and moved to one nearby, where they remain to this day.

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  • Written Nov 12, 2011
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