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The Acoma Indian Reservation is located in parts of Cibola, Socorro, and Catron counties in New Mexico, USA, This reservation covers 594.996 sq mi (1,541.033 km²). The Acoma Pueblo is the heart of the reservation and is held as one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the United States.
A federally recognized Indian Tribe, Acoma Pueblo and the surrounding Acoma Indian Reservation has a land base covering 431,664 acres and is home to 4,800 tribal members with more than 250 dwellings, none of which have electricity, sewer, or water.
In 1629, construction began on the massive San Esteban del Rey Mission, a Catholic mission. Spanish settlers built the San Esteban del Rey Mission in the Acoma Pueblo, carrying 30 foot beams 30 miles from Mount Taylor Mountain and the dirt for its graveyard up the mesa from the valley below.At the time, the only access to the mesa was up the hand carved stairway in the cliff face. Both the Mission and the Pueblo are Registered National Historical Landmarks.
Acoma Pueblo was named the 28th National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) site in 2007 and is the only Native American Historic Preservation site in the nation.
Acoma Pueblo is the population hub of this reservation.
Acoma Pueblo,also known as Sky City, is a Native American pueblo built on top of a 367-foot (112 m) sandstone mesa in a valley studded with sacred, towering monoliths. Established in 1150, it is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, along with the Hopi town of Old Oraibi, Arizona, as both communities were settled in the 11th century.
The Acoma people still speak a Keresan language (this language family is a linguistic isolate, commonly called Pueblo) which is still the first or only language of many older Acoma people. Although most middle aged and younger Acomans also speak English, it is not their first language. Many Acoma people also speak Spanish as a second or third language.
Access to the Acoma pueblo is difficult as the faces of the mesa are sheer. Before modern times, access was gained only by means of a hand-cut staircase carved into the sandstone. Today, the Acoma Pueblo is made up of several villages, including Acomita, McCartys, Anzac and the newer subdivision of Sky Line. Acoma people dry-farm in the valley below Aa'ku and use irrigation canals in the villages closer to the Rio San Jose. Sheep, cattle, and grain are produced.
Many Acoma people are skilled potters and make their living selling pottery to the tourist trade. The tribe also operates the Skyline Casino.
The pueblo is open to the public only by guided tour. Photography of the pueblo and surrounding lands is restricted. Tours can be arranged and $10 camera permits obtained from the recently renovated Sky City visitor center at the base of the mesa. However, videotaping, drawing and sketching are prohibited, with big signs warning visitors not to do any of them (but especially not to videotape), and they are very serious about enforcing these rules. Get caught breaking them, and you will be fined and asked to leave.
The number of tribal members is about 6,000, with about 4,800 living on the reservation as of 2010. The Acoma Indian Reservation borders the Laguna Indian Reservation to the east, and is near El Malpais National Monument, which is due west. Acoma Pueblo is located 60 miles (100 km) west of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Interstate 40 and 12 miles (20 km) south on Indian Route 23.
Besides the Acoma Pueblo and surrounding communities, there are three Census Designated Places on the Acoma Indian Reservation.
They are Acomita Lake (a census designated place with 312 occupants), North Acomita Village, and Skyline-Ganipa.
Acomita Lake had 312 people, 74 households, and 60 families residing in the CDP as of the 2000 census. There were 74 households out of which 37.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.6% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.22 and the average family size was 4.56.
Males had a median income of $21,806 versus $17,417 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $9,076. 17.8% of the population and 11.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.8% of those under the age of 18 and 18.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
North Acomita Village is also a census-designated place (CDP),with a population of 288 as of the 2000 census. There were 104 housing units, 90 of which were occupied by a household, made up of 63 families and 27 households of unrelated persons. The racial makeup of the CDP was 3.47% White, 95.83% Native American, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.12% of the population.
The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.87.
The per capita income for this CDP was $10,569, with the average median income for a household headed by a male at $26,250 versus $20,000 for households headed by a female. About 36.2% of families and 33.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.2% of those under the age of eighteen and 50.0% of those sixty five or over.
Skyline-Ganipa is another census-designated place, with a population of 1,035 at the 2000 census. There were 242 housing units (220 occupied by households)made up from 196 families and 24 households of unrelated persons. The average household size was 4.70 and the average family size was 4.89.
The median income for a household in this CDP was $26,190, and the median income for a family was $27,188. Males had a median income of $20,625 versus $19,732 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $7,553. About 29.2% of families and 32.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 29.0% of those age 65 or over.
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