Grades K to 8 Books Still Needed!
PLEASE Send book Donations To:San Diego Riverside Charter Schoolc/o Melissa Yepa504 Mission RoadJemez Pueblo, NM 87024A short drive from Albuquerque and Bernalillo, the Jemez National Historic Landmark is one of the most beautiful prehistoric and historic sites in the Southwest. It includes the stone ruins of a 500 year old Indian village and the San José de los Jemez church dating to 1621/2. The village of Giusewa was built in the narrow San Diego Canyon by the ancestors of the present-day people of Jemez (Walatowa) Pueblo. The name Giusewa refers to the natural springs in the area.In the 17th century, the Spanish established a Catholic mission at the village. The mission was short-lived, and, in time, the people abandoned the site and moved to the current location of Jemez Pueblo. The massive stonewalls were constructed about the same time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. The heritage center contains exhibitions that tell the story of the site through the words of the Jemez people. A 1,400-foot interpretive trail winds through the impressive site ruins.
The Jemez have lived in the Jemez Valley for hundreds of years and in Northern New Mexico for at least a thousand years. The Jemez People are primarily farmers, but we also gather and hunt. We speak a language that only a few thousand people speak. Linguists call it Towa, but we prefer to call it Jemez, for our People. There were about 11 to 15 other Jemez villages, very close in proximity to each other, and thousands of small one to two room field houses, when the first Spaniards explored this area in the 1540s. They documented 7 to 11 Jemez villages in their reports. (Jemez is the Spanish spelling for the word "Hį:mįsh" (HEE-MEESH) and is the plural form of what we call ourselves).
The Spanish came in the late 16th century to begin their "colonizing" and "christianizing". They forcefully tried to convert the Jemez (and other Pueblo People) to Christianity, and this is when the Spanish coerced the Jemez to build a church in 1621. The Spanish named it, San Jose de los Jemez (now part of the Jemez Historic Site) and was one of two churches built in the Jemez area at the time. The other mission, San Diego de la Congregacion, was built about a year later at the present site of Jemez Pueblo. ("Pueblo" is the Spanish word for village or town. The Spaniards called us "pueblo people", because we lived in apartment-like structures that contained many rooms which they referred to as "pueblos".) The San Jose de los Jemez Mission Church was most likely abandoned in the 1640s, but the village of Gisewa was still inhabited. The Spaniards' "Christianization Efforts" were then concentrated at Jemez Pueblo. The Jemez rebelled for many years against the Conquistadors and missionaries. Most Pueblo People accepted the foreign religion and adopted new ideas and technologies to a certain point. Once the Spaniards started hanging and publicly humiliating Pueblo Religious leaders for participating in what they called "devil worship", Pueblo People had had enough.