Every year, for more than 30 years, our family entered the world of Pueblo Christmas, unlike any that other Americans celebrated. At San Felipe Pueblo, a short distance north of our home in Albuquerque, we joined our Pueblo friends in their unique celebration. While many Americans blend family traditions in their modern families, the Pueblos have done this for centuries. The Spaniards “converted” the Pueblos in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They forbade any Native religions for several decades, but after a violent Pueblo revolt, they stepped back and the Pueblos were able to bring back their Native practices in the context of Catholicism.
Those Native ways often overpower the Christian ones, beginning on Christmas Eve. In the small mission church of San Felipe, midnight mass ends, the priest leaves. And then the first of the Native dancers enters the church, almost to remind everyone just who is Read More