Jemez Historic Site: Pueblo Independence Day | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Pueblo Independence Day

Commemorating the 1680 Pueblo Revolt

Quaint, scenic, and sleepy, the village of Jemez Springs will come alive on Sunday, August 13 during the 14th annual Pueblo Independence Day Celebration. On August 10 and 11 in 1680, the Pueblo people of New Mexico launched a successful rebellion against Spanish colonization, with the help of Apache and Navajo allies. The Jemez Pueblo Independence Day Celebration commemorates this historic event, which shaped the course of New Mexico history.

“Celebrating the day pays tribute to the Ancestors and shows appreciation for their sacrifices,” says Jemez Historic Site ranger Marlon Magdalena. “Their brave resistance helped preserve the Pueblo way of life: our culture, our languages, and our right to one day reclaim our aboriginal lands.”

This free annual event commemorating the 1680 Pueblo Revolt starts with a 13-mile pilgrimage from the Jemez Pueblo Plaza to Jemez Historic Site that starts at 7:00 a.m. The public is welcome to participate. Water stations will be available.

At 10:00 a.m. there will be an invocation, and welcome by Jemez Site Manager Matt Barbour, and Jemez Pueblo Officials. From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. visitors will be treated to traditional Native dances, authentic Native food, and plenty of arts and crafts from local artists. Admission is free for New Mexico residents with ID.

A short drive from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Jemez Historic Site is one of the most beautiful prehistoric and historic sites in the Southwest. It includes the stone vestiges of a 500-year-old Indian village and the San José de los Jémez church dating to 1621. 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 seventeenth 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 stone walls 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.

Jemez Historic Site is open Wednesday–Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (Closed Monday & Tuesday). Admission $5. Free to NM residents on first Sunday of each month, and to NM Seniors with ID on Wednesdays. Children 16 and under are always free. A combination ticket, good for admission to both Jemez and Coronado Historic Sites is available for $7.

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