Zia Pueblo

135 Capital Square Drive, Zia, New Mexico 87053-6013


The Zia pueblo in NM is situated in the steep mountains slopes and canyons of the Sierra Nacimiento Mountains. The gently sloping flood plain of the Jemez River, and the large Pajarito and Jemez Plateaus establish the setting for the Zia Indian Reservation.

The Zia, named for Zia Pueblo, who first used it, is another symbol of the sun, and also of the four directions and the circle of life on earth. It also may be connected with the place of emergence, the sipapu, in stories. When New Mexico became a State, in 1912, the Zia was adopted as the symbol for the State Flag. It appears as the sun in red, to honor the Indian Nations, on a yellow field (yellow was the royal color of the Spanish crown carried by the conquistador Coronado in 1540, the date of his entrance into New Mexico, at Zuni and the first recorded European contact with North American Indian people).

The Keres-speaking pueblo is home to about 650 members and is situated near the Jémez River. Behind the pueblo lie the Nacimiento Mountains and the Pajarito and Jémez plateaus, which are accessible via Indian Routes 78 and 79 with tribal permission.

Potters from Zia Pueblo are known for geometric designs, including the Zia, which they use on pottery, as well as plant and animal motifs that they depict against white backgrounds. The pueblo women are skilled at making thin-walled pottery usually decorated with bird symbols. Pueblo artwork is available at the Zia Cultural Center, which also sells paintings, sculpture, weavings and more.

The pueblo also offers bass, catfish and trout fishing at the nearby Zia Lake with a permit.