Kewa Pueblo, New Mexico

In 1932 the highway shifted to the east road and in 1937 Route 66 was realigned along a shorter route which bypassed Santa Fe and made a direct line from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque. However, the Santo Domingo Trading Post post survived, operating continuously until 1995, when its owner Fred Thompson died. Through these years the trading post was commonly featured on postcards and in guidebooks. The trading post was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 but just a few years later, it was nearly destroyed by fire in 2001.

Santo Domingo Trading Post Today, coutesy the Santa Fe New Mexican

Santo Domingo Trading Post Today, courtesy the Santa Fe New Mexican

More than 20 years after it closed, $1.5 million was allocated through grants to restore the old property, which was set to reopen in 2016, but it didn’t happen. Though the building’s exterior reflects the renovations today, we were unable to determine if it is open to the public on a regular basis.

The central portion of the pueblo was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2009, the pueblo officially changed its name from the Santo Domingo Pueblo to the Kewa Pueblo.

The Santa Domingo people are a federally recognized tribe today with some 5,000 members. About 2,500 people live in or near the pueblo. Unlike many Native American tribes, the Kewa people were never physically displaced so the area has been their tribal homeland for thousands of years. They continue to maintain their rich culture, traditional religious practices, and social structure. While many tribal nations are facing the loss of indigenous language among their youth, well over 80 percent of Santo Domingo’s children still speak their native Keresan.

Harvest Dance at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico

Harvest Dance at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico

The pueblo has a long history of producing, trading, and selling crafts, especially jewelry and pottery. Visitors to the pueblo can still observe the traditional way of life of the people and attend some ceremonial events, such as the internationally famous corn dance held every year on August 4. This celebration, called the Green Corn Dance, honors the peoples’ patron saint, Saint Dominic, and features more than 1,000 men, women, and children dressed in beautiful ceremonial attire, dancing in the plaza to the sound of chanting and pounding of drums. Visitors are welcome at this celebration, which attracts thousands of spectators from all parts of New Mexico and even from the far corners of the world. During the event, Pueblo Indian potters and silversmiths display their wares for sale.

The community also holds the Kewa Pueblo Annual Arts & Crafts Market each Labor Day weekend, which features about 350 artists, making it one of the largest tribally-run art market in the US. A cultural center and small museum provide opportunities for visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the area and its inhabitants.

The Kewa Pueblo is located approximately 25 miles south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Travel I-25 south of Santa Fe to exit 259, and travel along New Mexico Highway 22 to Indian Service Road 88 to the restored Santo Domingo Trading post. Then turn left (west) to reach the pueblo.

More Information:

Kewa Pueblo
PO Box 99
Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM 87052

Kewa Pueblo Mission Church, courtesy Wikipedia

Kewa Pueblo Mission Church, courtesy Wikipedia

Also See:

Ancient & Modern Pueblos

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail

New Mexico Route 66

Pre-1937 Route 66


The Arts
National Park Service
National Park Service – 2
Native American Art



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