"The cemetery" Top 5 Page for this destination Acoma Pueblo Things to Do Tip by toonsarah

Acoma Pueblo Things to Do: 36 reviews and 65 photos


I have no pictures of the cemetery, as all photography of it is strictly forbidden, but it is too interesting a place not to mention it here. It lies in front of the church (out of shot on the left of my photo) and is even older than it. It was not part of the Acoma tradition to bury their dead, but with the adoption of some of the Spanish conquerors? Catholic beliefs came also the introduction of burials. There is of course no soil on the mesa top, so earth for the cemetery has had to be carried up from the plains below in woven baskets. There are now five layers of graves here, and when this one is full no more will be added. Places in the cemetery are reserved for tribal elders and for those who have made the pueblo their year-round home ? most Acoma are now buried elsewhere in the reservation, in the churchyard they share with the neighbouring Laguna tribe.

At one end of the cemetery, in front of the church, is a raised area with a large cross, a memorial to all the unknown ancestors buried here in unmarked graves. The walls around the cemetery have humps, which in the inside can just be made out to contain faces. These are the guardians of the dead. One wall has a hole in it, to allow the spirits of the deceased an exit route out into the afterlife.

Review Helpfulness: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 12, 2011
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Comments (1)

  • Spanish.tradition's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    What about my ancestors, Spanish army buried their comrades in Acoma, after fighting against Queres Indians


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