Pueblo of Sandia

Mailing Address

New Mexico




Cultural History

The Pueblo of Sandia is one of the federally recognized tribes who are settled in the Central New Mexico which is adjacent to Albuquerque which is known to be the largest metropolitan area in the whole of New Mexico. The reservation area granted to the pueblo encompasses 22, 877 acres of land located on the east side of the Rio Grande Valley. The pueblo is one of the other nineteen pueblos who are all located in lands and reservation areas scattered in New Mexico. The Sandia Pueblo people are members of the pre-Columbian Tiwa language group. The Pre-Columbian Tiwa language group once dominated the whole of the Albuquerque area. However, their ancestry can be well traced back to the Aztec civilization who was one of the first people to migrate in the New Mexico region. Their current settlement today has been their home for the past century and more. This is the land that they have cultivated and grown their children. Their major source of income and resources is the Sandia Mountain of which they are named after. The Sandia Mountain provides them with plants, animals and their other necessities for living. The resources have paved way for their survival amidst the deserted region. The Sandia Pueblo was once the largest pueblo with more than 3,000 members. However, this number slowly diminished and today, there are only about 500 tribal members.
The term "Pueblo" is of Spanish descent. The Spaniards were the first explorers who attempted to colonize the area. "Pueblo" means "village dweller" which was said to have suited the lifestyle of the Sandia Pueblo. The term did not only refer to the people but to the homes of the people which were built using adobe or stone and were most of the time either round or square in share. Their homes contained chambers of which they store food for further use. The tribe is known for their keen interest and talent in growing of corns and beans, pottery and basketry. The tribe also excelled in beadwork as well as figurine carvings. 
It was in the year 1952 when the pueblo was finally reached by electricity. The technology of natural gas, indoor plumbing, electronic appliances and automobiles then conquered the lives of the pueblo people. They started using these technologies at home and then around the same time, a 530 foot well was built in order to supply water for the community. Another well was built to serve as a back-up in case problems strikes. The water irrigation system was also installed for the continuous cultivation of crops.
The Sandia Pueblo is now the owner and primary operator of the Sandia Resort & Casino, the Bien Mur Indian Market Center and the Sandia Lakes Recreation Area. The Pueblo also has several lands which are for lease for gravel mining purposes. The tribe has the traditional form of government in which their leader is known as the Governor.

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