Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Visit with Robbie O'Neill to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo

The Bobcat Inn

     I had the wonderful opportunity to witness two unique artist Andrew Garcia ,Silversmith and jeweler and Manuel Chavez , a very talented leather moccasin artist this week. Robbie O'Neill has started a new business called Cultural Treasurers here in Santa Fe. She organizes small groups to visit and talk with Native Americans about their art, history, culture, food and family in their home setting at different pueblos.
     We met Robbie at the Ohkay Owingeh Hotel and then followed her to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo where we first visited with Andrew Garcia who is a fifth generation artist in this pueblo. He said he watched his grandmother make pottery and learned the art of being a silversmith on his own. He taught classes at the Institute of Indian Arts on Cerrillos Road and has a very facinating story. We watched him intricately cut out a deer pendant and use natural stones to ornate the pendant and then buff and polish it.
      Manuel Chavez showed us how to make leather moccasins ranging from tiny to adult size or even an ornament for your christmas tree. Manuel has Laguna and Jemez heritage and currently lives at the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. You can purchase items after the demonstration and ask questions.
     We were then treated to an authentic Native American meal which consisted of  Fry bread topped with homemade pinto beans, red chile with ground beef, lettuce, tomato,onion , and cheddar cheese. Melanie Garcia, Andrew's daughter prepared this delicious meal for us. She also had pumpkin rolls for dessert.
     Please visit Robbie's website www.santafeculturaltreasures.com to see her different tours. She is from Texas and has a background in sales and marketing. She moved to Santa Fe in 1999 and worked for the Santa Fean Magazine. She was named in Tewa by a dear friend "P' a' ho"  which means one who laughs. I think you will really enjoy this experience and it will give you a taste of the real Native American culture.
    
   

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