Celebrations and Ceremonies

It is important for the Peublo tribe to have harmony with their natural world. They do this by having traditions and ceremonies.They pray for rain ,good harvests, and peace. They dance in different seasons to honor animals such as deer, antelope, buffalo,and eagles. They hold corn, bean, rain, and harvest dances. Their ceremonies are held in kivas. A kiva is a underground ceremonieal room that is usuially round instead of square. They were used for religious ceremonies that only the men could attend. Kivas could be as large as 25 feet across,and their floors were usuially at least 5 feet below the surface of the ground. Their roofs, like those of houses, were made of thick adobe supported by long wood beams and branches. Flat stone slabs often lined the floor and sides,and sometimes there were benches inside. if the men were not doing religious ceremonies, they would use the kivas much like clubhouses, for relaxing or doing light work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO2g9tgWjbU

The principal ceremonies are held between crop seasons. These ceremonies consist of prayers and thanks for rain and good crops. Kachinas are spirits that are believed to bring rain and good. These spirits are believed to exist in the masked dancers ,who impersonate them in ceremonies. The spirits are also thought to exist in Kachina dolls that are given to children. Some of the eastern Pueblos divide their villages into Summer and Winter People, who alternate responsibility for rituals.

Most Pueblo Indians celebrate and honor their Native American traditions with a feast day celebration. Which include dances with brilliant attire and sacred rituals. Attending one of these events is an excellent way to learn about the Pueblo culture. Dear and buffalo dances are commonly open to the public. Each dance tells a story and serves a different purpose. The ceremony dress worn by the dancers is more then just decorative; the feathers, jewelry and beads all communicate to part of the story. Every story is considered a prayer, not a performance such as outsiders are privileged to observe them. Drums beat with an insistent cadence and the air is filled with the fragrance of piƱon smoke. Red chile ristras (strings) decorate many homes, with the chilies destined to add their distinct flavor to stews and sauces throughout the winter. The sights, sounds and smells of the pueblo celebrations are a feast for the senses.

Annotated Bibliography

Rasmussen, Kent R. Pueblo. Vero Beach, FL: The rourke book compamy, 2001. 4-29. This is a great book that tells TONS of information on the Pueblo Tribe.

"Present-day life." Pueblo Indians. <http://www.dragonflydream.com/puebloindians.html>. This is also a good site that tells about what people did during ceremonies