Ancestors of the Pueblo people migrated from Mesa Verde and the Chaco Canyon to occupy the mesa and cliffs of the Pajarito Plateau. Drought and other factors caused the people to migrate to present-day San Ildefonso and settle along the banks of the Rio Grande, where water for crop irrigation was plentiful. Historically, the Pueblo’s economy was based on agriculture.

Click play to hear Pauline Cata, Tim Martinez’s sister, read the above paragraph in Tewa.


Nan pi’in nan in ge, Ge’ taa whan, (Pajarito Plateau) Tsideh’e pin, (Black Mesa) tunyo pin, (Rio Grande River) p’okay’ge. Nang’e Thaa’ego, Phaa’tsa wa, Pin phaa. Nah p’okay’ge de ha di taa ye. P’oe na bah yen. Da’ p’oe ami inbe nava.

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Aerial photo of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, with Black Mesa in the background. Taken in the 1950s. Credit: Tyler Dingee, Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA).

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The history, tradition, and culture of the Pueblo people are tied to the land and farming. Traditional practices are closely tied to the seasons, astronomical patterns, and wildlife patterns. Farming is an important part of many Pueblo traditions, such as ceremonies and dances.

This website builds on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso’s Farm Program and Climate Action Plan. Learning about and sharing traditional agricultural knowledge can help prepare for future climate change impacts. Traditional agricultural knowledge from Pueblo ancestors can be used to grow crops with less water and under extreme heat. The goal of this website is to document traditional agricultural knowledge from cultural leaders and elders in order to pass the knowledge to youth. The information on this website was gathered through a series of interviews and conversations conducted with members of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. We would like to thank everyone who shared their stories and knowledge to contribute to this website.

This work greatly benefited from input and collaboration by many individuals at the Pueblo. In particular, we want to acknowledge the support and collaboration of several individuals. Special recognition goes to Tim Martinez for his guidance in developing the proposal and vision for this website and for all of his contributions to the Farm Program throughout the years. We acknowledge the guidance and contributions of Pueblo elders and seniors who contributed to the website including Martin Aguilar, Larry Aguilar, Leon Roybal, Khoh’Ay Povi, William Stuart Christian, and others. We would also like to thank Darryl Martinez and Joseph Aguilar for their contributions and help. In addition, we thank the Education Department (Bernice Martinez, Rick Juliani, Aaliyah Gonzales) and the students in the Summer Program. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the critical role of Raymond Martinez and the Department of Environmental and Cultural Preservation in providing regular guidance and support for the development of this website. This work also benefited from artwork produced by Erin Martinez of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso and Jessica Kerbo of Abt Associates.

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Farming is important to maintain this practice, not just to sustain ourselves or to create balanced economies, but to sustain the core of who we are, as people, farming people.

Press play to hear Joseph tell this story.

Joseph Aguilar

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Our traditional ways of dancing and praying go hand-in-hand with farming.

Leon Roybal