Photographing the fresh snow fall in Galisteo last week, I had the good fortune to meet two residents who, seeing me taking pictures with my large format camera near their home, invited me to look for images in the orchard on their property, which is nestled in a lovely bosque along Galisteo Creek.
Although they are fairly new to the area, they turn out to be quite knowledgeable about the history of the place, and, in a recent email, graciously took the time to enlighten me on some facts about the people who have lived there, past and present. Here is what they have told me:
“Warfare was not a problem until the plains tribes had horses. The Galisteo and lower Rio Grande villages were intact until the time of the Pueblo Revolt because the plains tribes, though there were skirmishes, did not have horses until well after the Spanish came.”
Eventually, the Tewa people living in the area had to leave. Many of them relocated to the Hopi lands.
“They came to live there to help protect the Hopi mesa’s eastern side. Part of the deal was that they kept their Tewa language. Their village is commonly known as “Hano”. The Tewa do not like that name. They call their village “Tewa”. The Tewa make a sound like “hano” at the end of many sentences when they speak their language (a language Hopis do not understand… though the Tewa speak and understand Hopi). so, the Hopi jokingly call the village “Hano.”
My Galisteo acquaintances actually lived at Hopi for many years, and relate this story:
“One day, when I was giving a ride up first mesa to a Tewa woman who was fetching water from down below, I referred to the village as “Hano” and she explained to me why they preferred it be called by its real name, “Tewa.” So, though many of the maps say “Hano,” many call it “Tewa,” which is more proper.”
The artists whom I referred to as coming to live in Galisteo are, it turns out, part of a larger influx of people who moved to Galisteo in the 60’s and 70’s, seeking an alternative lifestyle. They now make up a sizable percentage of the community.
As sometimes happens, I, myself became the subject of a photograph. The first shows me in a flattering pose with my head buried under the hood of my camera, on that snowy morning in Galisteo. The second, taken by my mother in 1947, captures me in my my more charming days. Regrettably, none of my work from that period survives!