You’re in Santa Fe and you have heard about the ‘Squash Blossom’. Is it some kind of weird local flower? No. It’s a very distinctive Santa Fe necklace. It is distinguished by a large crescent shaped pendant hanging from a chain of silver beads. The crescent shape has its origins in the Middle East. It is believed to protect the wearer from the ‘evil eye’. Spanish conquistadors brought this style to New Mexico. Navajo silversmiths, under the influence of New Mexican jewelries, evolved to create their own unique style. The fluted beads of the chain are made to resemble the native squash blooms.
Originally made purely of silver, now turquoise has become an integral part of the squash blossom.
The squash blossom is just one of many spectacular pieces of jewelry made by local artist to be found in Santa Fe. Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will inform you of the history of Santa Fe art and as a bonus point you in the right direction for the best deals and most authentic pieces.
This weekend, August 16 to 18 is the 98th annual Indian Market here in Santa Fe. It is the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world. Over 1,100 Native artists from the U.S. and Canada sell their artwork. The Indian Market attracts 150,000 visitors to Santa Fe from all over the world. Buyers, collectors and gallery owners come to Indian Market to take advantage of the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures. Quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of the Santa Fe Indian Market.
The artists are people from over 220 U.S. Federally recognized tribes and First Nations’ Tribes (Canada). To the casual observer, it may not be evident that there may be generations of artists sitting together under the same booth. Some artists have been participating in Indian Market 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and even 60+ years. Their artwork is the universal language, which speaks and becomes a part of our lives.
The Indian Market officially begins on Saturday, 7:00 am -5:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 – 5:00 pm. Saturday is typically when the die-hard collectors come to shop. Sunday morning is less busy and preferred by those Market goers who wish to take their time discovering and rediscovering the hidden gems of Market.
Santa Fe Footprints does not offer walking tours on Saturday and Sunday of Indian Market. Not only is it just too crowded, we believe you should be enjoying the market and not desperately trying to hear what our extremely informative guides are saying. We do have tours the week leading up to and the days following the market. These tours will help you understand what you are about to experience or if after the market, make some sense of what you have been through.
The neck tie may be suffering a decline due to casual Fridays and Silicon Valley chic but out here in the west the Bolo ties is still the mark of a well-dressed man. Bolo tie? What’s that? The Bolo Tie is simplicity itself. A leather cord, usually braided, and held together with some sort of sliding clasp. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Ah, but here is where simplicity ends and fashion, art and craftsmanship take over.
The leather cords are not just any leather. The cord tips can be an endless variety of shapes made of silver aglets of the highest craftsmanship. The clasp is where the Bolo Tie really shines. Silversmiths, Native, Hispanic and Anglo, craft elaborate clasp made of the finest silver. A feature of a clasp can be a remarkable turquoise stone.
Bolos are not just for men! The ladies find them to be an excellent fashion addition that works with a gown for the opera or jeans for the BBQ. Your Santa Fe Footprints guide can point you to the best places to find the real thing at the best prices.
A Walking tour group and the Loretto Chapel Miracle Stairway.
For visitors to Santa Fe the Miracle Stairway of Loretto Chapel is a MUST SEE.
The Chapel choir loft is 22 feet above the floor, but with no way to get there. Legend says that to find a solution to this problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed. Then carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. So, was this mystery man St. Joseph himself? Had he come in answer to the sisters’ prayers?
The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. The staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs.
Santa Fe Footprints Historic Walking Tour fills in the details and provides a discount admission to wonder at the Miracle Stairway.
Wagon Train Arriving in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe , New Mexico. Pioneered in 1821 by William Becknell, the trail served as a vital commercial highway until the introduction of the Railroad to Santa Fe in 1880.
Comanche raiding farther south in Mexico isolated New Mexico. This made it more dependent on the American trade. It also provided the Comanches with a steady supply of horses for sale. By the 1840s, trail traffic along the Arkansas Valley was so heavy that bison herds could not reach important seasonal grazing land. This contributing to their collapse. The loss of the bison hastened the decline of Comanche power in the region.
After the U.S. acquisition of the New Mexico, the trail helped open the region to U.S. economic development and settlement. The trail played a vital role in the expansion of the U.S. into the lands it had acquired.
The story of the Santa Fe trail is one of the numerous features guest will enjoy when taking Santa Fe Footprints Historic Walking Tour.