Artwork from Santo Domingo Kewa Pueblo

Santo Domingo (Kewa)

Located on the Rio Grande 25 miles southwest of Santa Fe, Santo Domingo is one of the largest Pueblos in New Mexico. This Keresan-speaking Pueblo is known for carefully preserving its traditional way of life and its legacy of bead-making and traditional pottery. It was established in the 15th century, though the current Santo Domingo village was built after a devastating flood in 1886. Every August, on the feast day honoring the Pueblo’s patron saint, hundreds of Santo Domingo people participate in traditional corn dances, drawing visitors from around the state. For hundreds of years, Santa Domingo artisans have been creating beaded jewelry, known as heishi, by cutting and rolling turquoise, stone and shell by hand. Historically, the people of Santo Domingo were extremely successful traders, carrying their jewelry and other crafts as far away as Mexico, the Pacific and Plains. Today, Santa Domingo artists continue to create exquisite handcrafted beaded jewelry as well as shell mosaic inlay and silver jewelry, and these distinctive jewelry styles are prized around the world. The traditional pottery of Santo Domingo is also well known, with many artists making simple jars of buff clay that they decorate with black, red or brown geometric patterns.