Juan de Oñate established the first Spanish capital city in New Mexico near Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo (formerly San Juan Pueblo) in 1598. Traditionally, San Juan (O'ke in Tewa) was the center of an Indian meeting ground, its people so powerful that only an O'ke native could declare war for the Pueblo Indians. Although called a Taoseño, Pueblo Revolt leader Popé actually was a San Juan native.
It is one of the largest Tewa-speaking pueblos with a population of about 6,748. Today, the pueblo is the headquarters of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council and home to the Oke-Oweenge Crafts Cooperative, (505) 852-2372, which exhibits the art of the eight northern pueblos. The main art focus of this Tewa village is redware pottery, weaving and painting.
Fishing by permit is available year-round at San Juan Lakes, where many cash fishing tournaments are held, (505) 753-5067. There's a fee for taking photos or videos or for sketching. Visit Aquino's Indian Arts and Crafts for samples of woodcarvings and paintings, enjoy a buffet and a round of roulette at the OhKay Casino.
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