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Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico

Coordinates: 35°53′5″N 105°57′52″W / 35.88472°N 105.96444°W / 35.88472; -105.96444
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Pueblo of Nambé
Nambé Oweengé
The Kiva
Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico is located in New Mexico
Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico
Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico is located in the United States
Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico
Nearest citySanta Fe, New Mexico
Coordinates35°53′5″N 105°57′52″W / 35.88472°N 105.96444°W / 35.88472; -105.96444
Area7.7 acres (3.1 ha)
Built1540 (1540)
NRHP reference No.74001208[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJanuary 21, 1974
Designated NMSRCPMarch 13, 1972

Nambé Oweenge Pueblo (/nɑːmˈb/ nahm/BAY; Tewa: Nambé Oweengé / Nąngbeʼe Ôwîngeh, IPA: [nɑ̃̀ŋbèʔ ʔówîŋɡè]) is a federally recognized tribe of the Pueblo people in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined the community as a census-designated place (CDP).

The Pueblo of Nambé has existed since the 14th century and is a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos.[2] It was a primary cultural, economic, and religious center at the time of the arrival of Spanish colonists in the very early 17th century[citation needed]. Nambé was one of the Pueblos that organized and participated in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 which expelled the Spanish from New Mexico for twelve years.

The community of Nambe, New Mexico, is separate from the pueblo.


Nambé is the Spanish version of a similar-sounding Tewa word, which can be interpreted loosely as meaning "rounded earth." The word "pueblo" stems from the Spanish word for "village." Pueblo refers both to the Southwestern style architecture and the people themselves.[3]


The 2010 census found that 1,818 people lived in the CDP,[4] while 568 people in the United States reported being exclusively Nambé[5] and 723 people reported being Nambé exclusively or in combination with another group.[6]


The Nambé language is a dialect of the Tewa language,[3] also called Tano, which belongs to the Kiowa-Tanoan language family.[7]


Origin and early history[edit]

Scholars believe that all Pueblo peoples are descended from the Ancestral Pueblo people, possibly from the Mogollón, and other ancient peoples. In contemporary times, the people and their archaeological culture were referred to as Anasazi for historical purposes - a Navajo term loosely translated as "Enemy Ancestors" as some Navajo clans are descendants of the Anasazi. Contemporary Puebloans do not want this term to be used. As the Ancestral Puebloans abandoned their canyon homeland due to social upheaval and climate change, they migrated to other areas. Eventually the Nambé emerged as a culture in their new homeland in present-day New Mexico.[3]

European contact[edit]

The Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate arrived with armed forces in the area in 1598. He forced Nambé Pueblo, as was the case with other pueblos, to start paying him taxes with cotton, crops and labor. Catholic missionaries also came into the area, threatening native religious beliefs. They renamed pueblos with saints' names, and the first church, San Francisco de Nambé,[8] was built in Nambé Pueblo in the early 1600s. The Spanish introduced new foods to the native communities, including peaches, peppers, and wheat. In 1620 a royal decree assigned civil offices to each Pueblo.[3]


Tesla New Mexico at Nambé Pueblo

The people of Nambé Pueblo participate in a mixed economy, with many travelling to jobs outside of the Pueblo lands.

Prior to 2020, the Nambé operated a casino on tribal land at the Nambé Falls Travel Center.[9] In 2021, Tesla opened a 7,000 sq ft (650 m2) service center on Nambé land to service Tesla vehicles, after signing an agreement with Nambé Pueblo leaders. This allowed the first service center to open in the State of New Mexico since state law prohibits automakers from selling direct to consumers, as Tesla does, and state law did not allow Tesla to open a service center without selling cars through intermediary car dealers.[10] By November 2022, Tesla had followed this model of leasing native American land for a service and delivery center at a second New Mexico city—Santa Ana—which is 60 mi (97 km) closer to the large city of Albuquerque.[11] The store is expected to open in May 2023 and will be five times larger than the first New Mexico facility in Nambe.[12]


The Nambé Pueblo is zoned into Pojoaque Valley Schools.[13] Pojoaque Valley High School is the zoned comprehensive high school.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System – (#74001208)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Nambe Pueblo". New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Barry Pritzker (2000). A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-19-513897-9. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  4. ^ U.S. Census Bureau (2010). "NM - Nambé CDP". United States Census 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Census 2010 American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File (AIANSF) - Sample Data, Pueblo of Nambe alone (H46)
  6. ^ Census 2010 American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File (AIANSF) - Sample Data, Pueblo of Nambe alone or in any combination (H46) & (100-299) or (300, A01-Z99) or (400-999)
  7. ^ "Tano/Tewa Indian Language". Native Languages of the Americas. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  8. ^ "Nambé Pueblo | Nambé Falls – About Nambé Pueblo". Retrieved July 17, 2024.
  9. ^ Tesla opens a showroom on Native American land in New Mexico, getting around the state's ban on automakers selling vehicles straight to consumers, Business Insider, 13 September 2021, retrieved 14 September 2021.
  10. ^ Merano, Maria (September 10, 2021). "Tesla sidesteps New Mexico ban by building service center in tribal land". Teslarati. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Tesla's Found a Way Around Direct Sales Bans by Putting Dealerships on Tribal Lands, The Drive, 8 November 2022.
  12. ^ Tesla announces second New Mexico dealership, Albuquerque Journal, 7 October 2022.
  13. ^ "2020 Census – School District Reference Map: Santa Fe County, NM" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Katz, Lois (2007). A Lifetime of Imaging: The Art of Margaret Lefranc. Nouveau Ventures © Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation.
  15. ^ Bullock, Alice. (1981). Mountain Villages: Historic Sites, p. 10.
  16. ^ Godreche, Dominique. "10 Elegant Jars by Nambé Pueblo Potter Lonnie Vigil". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved May 3, 2014.

External links[edit]