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Tuf Shurn Tia, Green Reed Place, is the traditional name for Sandia Pueblo.
Sandia Pueblo is one of the four Tiwa speaking pueblos, and is located 15 miles north of Albuquerque, totaling 22,877 acres of land. Sandia is located on the east side of the Rio Grande River and its traditional name, "Tuf Shur Tia" or "Green Reed Place," refers to the green valley fed by the Rio Grande River.
The current site of Sandia pueblo has been their home since ace least 1300 AD. When Francisco Vasquez de Coronado arrived in 1539, Sandia was one of the largest pueblo communities, with a population of 3,000. In 1917 it became a settlement for Spanish explorers as the seat of the Mission of San Francisco. 63 years later, Sandia participated in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. During the revolt, Antonio de Otermin, Spain’s governor of the area, repeatedly ordered the burning of Sandia Pueblo. When the Spanish attempted to re-conquest Sandia (in 1681, 1688 and 1692), the people abandoned their pueblo and fled to Hopi lands in Arizona where they resettled in a village called Payupki.
In 1742, 441 Sandia pople returned to their valley. Their requests for resettlement were ignored by the Spanish government until Father Menchero petitioned on their behalf. Their petition to resettle was granted in 1748, and the boundary of their settlement was drawn by Lt. General Bernado de Bustamante to be three miles in each direction from the pueblo’s church. The Rio Grande was established as the western boundary, and thus the missing acres west were compensated for by more acres to the north and south. The original resettlement then totaled 24,034. The pueblo’s is repurchasing much of the land that has been lost due to encroachment since then.
In 1762 the New Mexico Governor Tomas Cachupin ordered that the Pueblo of Sandia be rebuilt, and make sure it was done he forbade the employment of any Sandia Pueblo people by Spanish farmers until the pueblo was rebuilt. Sandia was a helpful location because it served as a buffer against the Navajo, Apache, and Comanche. In 1775 Sandia lost 30 people in a Comanche attack, and was then constantly raided until a truce was struck in what is now called “Poi Pa Huth” or the “Friendship Arroyo”.
Though Sandia’s population was 350 in 1748 just after their return to the valley, it continued to decrease to only 74 by 1900.
Sandia felt little influence from America until World War II, when Sandia sent eight men to fight overseas. Though they fought for their country as U.S. citizens, none were eligible to vote until 1948. Many women also joined the war effort, by leaving their families to work in welding, shipyards, etc.
Electricity first came to Sandia in 1952, followed shortly by natural gas, indoor plumbing, and automobiles. The community’s water needs are met by a 530 foot well. Irrigation water is stored at El Vado Lake and then flows to the Rio Grande River where it is used to feed irrigation ditches.
The current population is very small with less than 500 people.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, “Sandia Pueblo.” http://indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/sandia.html (accessed July 7, 2009).
Sandia Pueblo, “Pueblo of Sandia History.” http://www.sandiapueblo.nsn.us/history.html (accessed July 7, 2009).