San Ildefonso Peublo: A Brief Introduction
From Resource Specialist Santina Shije, LMSW
Welcome to the Pueblo de San Ildefonso (san ill-day-fon-so)
Po-Woh-Geh-Owingeh: “Where the water cuts through”
San Ildefonso Pueblo is the Spanish name for the Tribe. The word "pueblo" in Spanish means "town". We refer to our location by Tribe. Our tewa location name is “Po-woh-ge-oweenge”, which means “Where the Water Cuts Through.” The Spanish named Tribes/Pueblos after patron saints and San Ildefonso was named after Saint Ildefonsus who, was an archbishop of Toledo, Spain.
The Pueblo de San Ildefonso history dates back to 1300 A.D. when the people from Bandelier moved down to the current location next to the Rio Grande. Before this, they had come from Mesa Verde in Southern Colorado.
Today the Pueblo consists of over 60,000 acres and has an enrollment of approximately 750 people. We are located north of Santa Fe, off State Road 502 and east of Los Alamos, along the Rio Grande Valley.
On January 23rd, beginning at dawn, the People of San Ildefonso celebrate their annual feast day with traditional dances, Deer and Comanche dances. There is Mass celebrated on this day. These dances, vespers and Mass blend the native practices with the feast day of the Saint Ildefonso.
The Pueblo is known for its traditional black on black pottery with a highly polished finish and black matte design, as well as red and polychrome pottery. There are also painters, jewelry makers, weavers, carvers, seamstresses, and moccasin makers here at the Pueblo.
Across Los Alamos Public Schools, there are 139 Native American students, with 21 students from San Ildefonso Pueblo.