As a woman with Passamaquoddy roots when I first came to Abiquiu I was invited to participate in the six pueblo celebrations along the Rio Grande which made me feel blessed, grateful, included, and at “home.”
My own people’s lives and traditions were destroyed by colonial peoples centuries ago.
Yesterday I was invited to attend a river blessing on what I call Red Willow River a tributary of the Rio Grande by folks of Spanish and Indigenous descent who live here in Abiquiu on the mesa. These people, although local, are of mixed descent and do not follow the seasons and cycles of the year as the surrounding pueblos do. There is a heavy overlay of Spanish colonialism along with a restrictive (to me) Catholicism that sets this village apart from the pueblos.
Still, I was looking forward to this celebration
That was supposed to be led by Tewa Women United from the neighboring pueblos. It was a beautiful day, and of course we were all on “Indian Time” which means practically that ceremonies start when the time was right.
However, this blessing of the river didn’t come together at all. People milled around aimlessly. Some left. The children some of whom were dressed in regalia played for a while and eventually got hungry. Some complained they had to get back to school for a game.
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