December 25, 2009

Pueblo Christmas dances

Christmas DancesMany tribes, including the Laguna Indians, many of whom accepted Christianity some 400 years ago, have the custom of a dance on Christmas Eve or Christmas, where gifts are offered at the manger. There are many representations of gifts brought to braves in the fields by the great Thunderbird; or scenes with the wise men being replaced by the chiefs representing the great nations.

A few Native American Christmas celebrations are:

December 24

  • Sundown procession with bonfires at Taos Pueblo
  • Acoma Pueblo is lit with luminarias beginning at the scenic viewpoint and continues as far as "Sky City"
  • After 10 pm Mass at Laguna, various dances
  • After midnight Mass: at San Felipe, Santa Ana, and Tesuque Pueblos
  • Buffalo, Deer, and Antelope Dance after Mass at Nambe Pueblo

  • December 24 & 25 Christmas celebrations

  • Spanish Dance drama "Los Matachines" at Picuris and San Juan Pueblos
  • Pine Torch Processions at San Juan Pueblo

  • December 25

  • Various dances at Tesuque Pueblo
  • Dances to be announced (Deer or Los Matachina) at Taos Pueblo
  • Christmas celebration: Matachina Dance at San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Comment:  For more on Indians and Christmas, see Indians = Philanthropists, Not Socialists and Starman Visited Baby Jesus.

    Below:  A non-Christmas Buffalo Dance at Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo).

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