Zia(Tsi-ya)

Zia is a small Keresan-speaking Pueblo located about 35 miles north of Albuquerqueon a site overlooking the Jemez River, where their ancestors have lived since the 13th century. The Zia are well known to the people of New Mexico for their sun symbol, which depicts a circle with line emerging at the four cardinal directions. The symbol appears on the state flag and is the official New Mexico State insignia, adopted as an emblem of friendship among cultures. Once one of the largest Pueblos, Zia’s population had fallen to less than 100 at the turn of the 20th century as a result of illness and now stands around 700. Today the Zia community farms and raises cattle and livestock, maintaining a strong sense of culture and identity. Artists of Zia are known for producing beautiful traditional work, especially their handmade pottery. Their redware and polychrome pottery often features designs painted in brown or black and the bird motif that is a signature element of Zia pottery. Zia artists are also known for painting, as well as traditional weaving, carving and basketry.