Santa Clara Pueblo

Mailing Address

New Mexico


Cultural History

The Santa Clara Pueblo is one of the census-designated places (meaning a place which serves statistical purposes) located in the Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, United States. It is the home of the Pueblo tribe of Native Americans. The tribe is said to be composed of 980 people during the year 2000. Established in 1550, the Santa Clara Pueblo is a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos whose people are mainly from the Tewa ethnic group. The tribe is famous for its pottery specializing in black polished and red polychrome pottery with deep engravings. Their habitat is on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Their total habitat is 2.1 square miles which is mainly composed of land. 

The Santa Clara Pueblo was first discovered in 1541 by the Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s expedition. During the 1680’s, the native Santa Clara Pueblo people took active part in the Great Pueblo Revolt versus the Spanish conquerors. On December 20, 1935, Santa Clara Pueblo made history when it became one of the first few tribes to adopt a constitutional body of government. 

The 2000 census data reveals that there are 980 people, 349 households and some other 254 families within the area. The population density then was 471.6 per square mile and there were only 400 housing units. 85.61% of the total population is composed of Native Americans. Of the 349 households, 34.4% had their children under 18 while 41.5% were married couples. The median household income for a household is $20,302 while the median income for a family is $22,049. The males have greater advantage when it comes to their median income with an average of $23,750 against the women’s median income which is at $20,221. The per capita income of the tribe is said to be $9,311. 29.6% of the total population is below the poverty line.

A reservation called the Santa Clara Reservation is dedicated to them. It is an Indian reservation in the north-central portion of the United States. It is specifically found 76.73 square miles South of Rio Arriba, Northeastern of Sandoval and Northern Santa Fe. In the year 2000, according to the census data, there are 140,658 persons living in the reservation. Nevertheless, quite a good number of its members live on the corner of the reservation.

Nowadays, the Santa Clara Pueblo have kept their heritage alive with their potteries. Their rich pottery making history is still lived by today and is one of the best kept secrets of the tribe. They are said to be one of the best pottery makers in the world and this industry is what keeps them alive aside from weaving and fishing.

With their strive to gain back their aboriginal land areas, they have also made a conscious effort to maintain their culture. They are also working on resolving security issues along the State Road 30 which has bow become a major route for commuters to Los Alamos National Laboratories. Aside from this, they also have their Santa Clara Tewa Immersion Program that ensures the next generation to carry on their tradition. It was established by the former Governor Jeff Sisneros in 2004 to keep their youth away from drugs and other vices caused by modernization. They encourage their youth instead to focus on the community building and education.

Featured Tribal News

No featured news.