Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Tamaya, known as “a quiet and special place” is a small Pueblo with a rich history dating back over 1000 years. The people of Tamaya (the Tamayame) emerged into this world from an underworld. At this time of emergence, they were given what was needed to survive on this earth: their culture, social values, religion, and form of self-government. Their religious leaders spoke to the Tamayame of a beautiful land and a sky to the upperworld. The Tamayame traveled for centuries, and did not settle in any of the lands. They stopped only to regain strength by nourishment and as soon as their energy was renewed, the traveling continued. This journey led them to settle along the north bank of the Jemez River—a place they called Tamaya. The Tamayame lived peacefully for many years, cultivating the land and establishing a way of life based on agriculture. This was the best place in the world. Eventually, however, their hospitable ways towards visitors almost brought an end to their way of life.

As time progressed, exploring Europeans entered this region and influenced the culture of the Pueblo. European settlers brought their economy, religious beliefs and technology to this tribal community based on agriculture. The Tamayame welcomed these people and shared their beliefs, ceremonies, and homes. Many of the Tamayame, however, became ill and died from strange diseases brought by the Europeans and their different plants and animals.

As more and more foreign people began to settle in the area surrounding Tamaya, the tribe managed to adjust and learn from the new environment. New foods like peaches, apples, grapes, and watermelons augmented their traditional diet of corn, beans, squash, and chilies. Some Tamayame became cattle or sheep herders, but most remained farmers. Improvements such as metal tools also came from the arrival of the foreigners and helped to improve their agricultural production. Despite these outside influences the Tamayame managed to maintain their spirituality and ceremonial ways of life, even to this day. With the many changes brought on by the Europeans to the Pueblo way of life came the renaming of the Pueblo.

The Tamayame became known as the people of Santa Ana. Even though Santa Ana is one of the smaller Pueblos in population with 700 tribal members, it contains approximately 78,000 acres, and its people are one of the most progressive economically.

Today, the old Pueblo of Tamaya lies on the north bank of the Jemez River. The new village, Ranchitos Grant, was acquired by purchase from the Spanish Colonist during the 18th Century, and lies ten miles southeast of Tamaya along both sides of the Rio Grande and opposite the resort.

The future of the Pueblo of Tamaya is being reshaped with recent measures approved by the Tribal Council. In addition to a Garden Center, Blue Corn Enterprises, and the Santa Ana Star Casino, the Pueblo has added 45 holes of golf, a fine-dining restaurant, and a clothing enterprise dedicated to showcasing Native American artists. The people of Tamaya are proud and determined to show the best they have to offer.

To showcase their tradition of hospitality, the Tamayame have created the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, reminiscent of the dwellings of the Santa Ana Pueblo from long ago. This Pueblo community’s Tribal history and culture are reflected in every aspect of the resort, from open air courtyards and plazas, to an adobe style lobby. The moment you step into the entry courtyard, modeled after the dance plaza at the Tamaya village where ancient ceremonies have been performed for centuries, you will feel the history of the surrounding lands that date far back in time. Welcome to a place where the people, their culture and the land are one.

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