Stu and I talked a lot driving backroads through the southwest about how schools we attended completely left out Native American history, culture and religions.
Exploring one backroad in New Mexico close to old Route 66, we stopped for some Indian Fry Bread (if you’ve never tasted it, you are missing amazing food). Take a backroads trip to Pueblo Laguna in New Mexico and learn what we were never taught in school.
PUEBLO LAGUNA HISTORY
Pueblo Laguna is the largest of the Keresan pueblos, covering four large counties and six villages. The district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The district covers approximately 108 acres. Portions of the southeastern section of the pueblo dates from the 1400s with a larger section established in 1699.
Laguna peoples are ancient peoples and spoke a Keresan dialect. All Pueblo people are thought to be descended from Anasazi and perhaps Mogollon and several other ancient peoples, although the precise origin of the Keresan peoples is unknown. They have lived continuously in the area since at least 3000 B.C.
Tradition has it that their ancestors inhabited Mesa Verde. In any case, Laguna’s prehistory is closely connected with, if not identical to, that of Acoma.
The pueblo’s six villages-Encinas, Laguna, Mesita, Paguate, Paraje and Seama– are home to about 7,700 people. Interstate 40 and historic Route 66 bisect the heart of the 42 square mile pueblo lands.
Pueblo Laguna is located 45 miles west of Albuquerque off I-40, and 31 miles east of Grants. Old Laguna was the first village in the pueblo. The highlight (along with Fry Bread) is the historic St. Joseph Mission Church built in 1699. The church is sited on a hill and can be seen from old Route 66. Visit: www.lagunapueblo-nsn.gov