The corn necklace is made of large dried then dyed corn kernels. These are then strung together to become a rainbow of bright colors. The necklaces are a testament to the importance of corn as a staple for the Southwest Indians. Corn is one of the ‘three sisters’ of sustenance, corn, beans and squash. Of the three, corn reigns supreme and is celebrated in myth, ritual and dance.
The best and most fascinating time to visit one of the pueblos around Santa Fe is during a pueblo feast day. A corn dance is a signature event in many of these feast days celebration.
Attending a pueblo feast day and witnessing a corn dance is a great experience for visitors of all ages. The Nambe’ corn dance held my 6-year-old twin grandsons utterly spellbound.
Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will be able to provide you with information on all the pueblo feast days and dances.
Blankets have long been important for both Indian and early Spanish settlers of New Mexico. They provided warmth, shelter and possible most important, status. Many tribes had long established weaving traditions. Indians began to acquire machine-made blankets in the late 19th century. This was done mostly as a matter of convenience. These became known as Indian trading blankets. These trade blankets became a standard medium of exchange in the old west trading post.
Pendleton Woolen Mills was founded in 1889. They became a well-known manufacture of these trading blankets. Pendleton designers gathered information from tribes across the country to determine the preferred designs, colors and geometric shapes for this market.
The Navajo are celebrated for their excellent hand weaving skills. The Pendleton blankets are still considered an enduring symbol of their culture.
Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will provide you with the history of art in Santa Fe and also advise on the locations for excellent Indian blankets.
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Originally made purely of silver, now turquoise has become an integral part of the squash blossom.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.