July 12, 2012

Kewa Pueblo


The Kewa Pueblo, formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo, is one of the best known tribes of the southwest, largely because of their skill in marketing their jewelry and other crafts. The Kewa Pueblo is fifth in population of the nineteen New Mexico pueblos, and is generally considered the most conservative in terms of customs and culture.  

Official Tribal Name: Kewa Pueblo


Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Kewa Pueblo

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name: Santo Domingo Pueblo

Alternate names /  Alternate spellings / Misspellings: Formerly known as the Pueblo of Santo Domingo

Name in other languages:

Region: Southwest 

State(s) Today: New Mexico

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Pueblo


Reservations: Santo Domingo Pueblo, San Felipe/Santo Domingo joint use area

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Language Classification: Keres – Is a dialect cluster spoken by the Keres Pueblo people in New Mexico. The varieties of each of the seven Keres pueblos are mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. Keres is a language isolate. Edward Sapir grouped it together with a Hokan–Siouan stock. Morris Swadesh suggested a connection with Wichita. Joseph Greenberg grouped Keres with Siouan, Yuchi, Caddoan, and Iroquoian in a super-stock called Keresiouan. None of these proposals has gained the consensus of linguists.

Language Dialects: Eastern Dialect.

Number of fluent Speakers:

  • Eastern Keres: total of 4,580 speakers (1990 census)
    • Cochiti Pueblo: 384 speakers (1990 census)
    • San Felipe – Santo Domingo: San Felipe Pueblo: 1,560 speakers (1990 census), Santo Domingo Pueblo: 1,880 speakers (1990 census)
    • Zia–Santa Ana: Zia Pueblo: 463 speakers (1990 census), Santa Ana Pueblo: 229 speakers (1990 census)
  • Western Keres: total of 3,391 speakers (1990 census)
    • Acoma Pueblo: 1,696 speakers (1980 census)
    • Laguna Pueblo: 1,695 speakers (1990 census)



Bands, Gens, and Clans

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Several seasonal feasts and ceremonial dances are open to the public. Photography and sketching is generally discouraged in all the Pueblos.

Before drawing the area and its people, or taking pictures, you should inquire if it is allowed, and if so, what the rules are. Some pueblos charge a fee for picture taking, depending on what you plan to do with your pictures. Your camera may be confiscated and you may be fined or asked to leave if you take pictures without following their procedures. They take this VERY seriously.

The Pueblo and surrounding houses are private homes and should be treated as such. Do not enter any buildings unless invited, or clearly marked as open to the public.

The Corn Dance of the patron saint’s day for Domingo St. Dominic  on August 4th each year is very popular, as well as the Sandaro, which is a burlesque with lots of clowning. There are other ceremonies during the Christmas and Easter holidays which are open to the public.

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:

The differences between Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Santo Domingo jewelry styles





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Famous Pueblo People

Kewa Pueblo People of Note:

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US Tribes K to M
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