Feast of Saint Dominic – August 4th, 2017
About the Great Corn DanceSanto Domingo Pueblo, on the east bank of the Rio Grande about 40 miles north of Albuquerque, is the scene each August 4th of the largest Indian dance ceremonial held annually in the southwest. This is the feast day of St. Dominic, patron saint of the historic Indian Pueblo, and more than 1,000 Santo Domingo Indians join a presentation of the colorful Green Corn Dance.
MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN, all in beautiful ceremonial attire, dance under the sun in the big plaza of the old historic pueblo to the sound of chanting and pounding drums. The Green Corn Dance at Santo Domingo Pueblo each August 4th attracts thousands of spectators from all parts of New Mexico and even from the far corners of the world.
FEAST DAY activities begin with a morning mass in the picturesque mission church at the east edge of the Pueblo. After mass, a statue of St. Dominic is carried in a procession from the Church to a place of honor in a bough covered shrine on the pueblo plaza. Here, St. Dominic will remain until the ceremonial dance is completed. Then it will be returned to the Church.
The Green Corn Dance begins in front of the Church by 10 am and will continue throughout the day. Members of the Squash and Turquoise clans will alternate in the dancing. Pueblo Indian potters and silversmiths will display their wares for sale on the tables and on the grounds in the Pueblo and food concessions and carnival rides will be set up. Since this is a religious observance, no photography, sketching, or tape recording will be permitted. No alcohol beverages/illegal drugs or contraband are allowed on the Pueblo.
SANTO DOMINGO is one of the largest Indian Pueblos in New Mexico. When Don Juan de Onate visited Santo Domingo in 1598, the Pueblo was on the north bank of Galisteo Creek, a few miles east of the present village. Galisteo floodwaters washed this village away shortly afterwards and the survivors established a new Pueblo near the Rio Grande, but flood waters struck Santo Domingo in 1692 and again in 1886, washing away much of the Pueblo each time. Most of the present Pueblo and the present mission church have been built since the disastrous flood of 1886. During much of the Spanish colonial period, Santo Domingo was an inportant Franciscan mission center and the ecclesiastical capital of New Mexico. A mission church erected here before 1607 by Fray Juan de Escalona, was considered one of the largest and finest in New Mexico. It was washed away in the 1886 flood, but most of the records and religious objects were saved.
Santo Domingo played host to many famous visitors during its long history, including Zebulon Pike in 1809 and Col. Stephen Watts Kearny in 1846.
In 1598, the Santo Domingo Tribe was designated as the Capitol of the 20 Pueblo Indian Tribes in the State of New Mexico. The inhabitants of Santo Domingo Pueblo today are conservative and traditional. Their ceremonial dances are considered among the finest to be seen in New Mexico.
Vendor booths for this event are available. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 28. To inquire, please contact Beverly or Brian at (505) 465-2214. Pricing varies based on booth location.
Rules and Regulations
Courtesy and cooperation on your behalf is greatly appreciated.
- No picture taking/video taping/sketching or recording allowed.
- Note: Please leave cell phones, cameras and video equipment in your vehicle to avoid confiscation.
- No alcohol beverages, illegal drugs or contraband.
- Please lock vehicles, the Pueblo is not responsible for any damages.
- First aid station will be located on the North side of the Church.
- Public restrooms are behind the Community Center & portable restrooms are located on the South side of the Carnival area.
- Failure to abide by the above rules will result in a fine.
Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Governor Robert B. Coriz and Lt. Governor Esquipula Tenorio, Sr.
To reach Santo Domingo Pueblo from Albuquerque, drive North of Albuquerque on I-25, take exit 259, turn west (left) on State Road 22, which will lead to Mateo Overpass and to the Pueblo (about 7 miles). Once at the Pueblo, traffic will flow in a single direction (see map).
Some local roads will be closed for the feast (see map):
- NM-22 Frontage Road
- SP84 South of San Felipe
- SP88 West to Sile
- Chaco St.
- Eagle St.
- Keres St.
Please obey all road closure signs.