The Tewa World: Posi-Ouinge and Santa Clara Pueblo

Trip Leaders: Kurt Anschuetz and Porter Swentzell

Field Trip

Saturday, May 10, 2014, 8:00 am–3:30 pm

The Tewa people have lived in northern New Mexico for centuries, including the modern villages of Santa Clara, Okhay Owingeh, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Pojoaque, and Nambe Pueblos. The ancestral villages of the Tewa are scattered along the tributaries of the Rio Chama and Rio Grande, including the archaeological site called “Posi-Ouinge” located near Ojo Caliente.

The story of Posi-Ouinge is a central part of the Tewa people’s history of their origin. The Summer People and the Winter People were at one-time divided as they travelled down the Rio Grande and Rio Chama toward the Espanola Valley, which is the heart of the Tewa’s traditional homeland. Each group built a series of villages as they made their journey. Eventually, the Tewas united to become a single community, and they lived together at one village, a place they call Posi-Ouinge “the greenness pueblo” above the Ojo Caliente hot springs. Leaving—but never forgetting—Posi-Ouinge as a place of residence, mixed groups of Summer and Winter People resumed their ancestor’s journey downstream to found the Tewa Pueblos that we know today.

Posi was a thriving center of Tewa village life from the late 1300’s until early 1500’s, just before the arrival of the Spanish. Inhabited by generations of people for over a century, this large adobe village may have had as many as 1,000 ground floor rooms and almost as many on the second and third stories.

Porter Swentzell and Kurt Anschuetz will be our guides into the ancestral Tewa world of Posi and the modern Tewa community of Santa Clara Pueblo or “Kha’p’oo”, translated as the “Valley of the Wild Roses.” Porter Swentzell is from a family of artisans, farmers, and scholars at Santa Clara Pueblo. He was the first person to receive a Bachelors of Arts in Pueblo Indian Studies at Northern New Mexico College and is currently a teacher at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Kurt F. Anschuetz is an anthropologist and archaeologist, who is engaged in long-term projects documenting the history of occupation by Pueblo populations and their agricultural water management in the Tewa Basin, including the vicinity of Posi-Ouinge. He also provides technical assistance to the Pueblo of Acoma in its efforts to protect its traditional cultural relationships with Mount Taylor.

Activity Level: Moderate, involves climbing a steep, slick-rock escarpment and walking on an uneven dirt trail to reach Posi-Ouinge’s great mounds of melted adobe. Round trip, the hike will cover approximately one mile. After lunch, we will visit the Pueblo of Santa Clara.

Cost (per person): $105 includes guide honorariums, transportation, and lunch at the Artesian Restaurant at the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort.

Trip Registration: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR will be using a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 484 KB) by mail—postmarked no later than November 29, 2013. Do not send any trip payment with your lottery registration. A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by December 9, 2013. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration prior to lottery.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

Follow us: