Visiting the the pueblos
of the southwest or
reservations anywhere in the U.S. is a great way to experience the
cultures and traditions of
However, visitors should keep several rules of etiquette in mind when
touring these "cities" that are called home to our fellow Americans. Some of these guidelines may be culturally foreign for non-Indian
visitors, but are extremely important to the tribal members and will help
you to avoid misunderstandings or violations of native customs.
While each pueblo and reservation operates under its own government,
establishing its own rules for visitors, these are guidelines that
apply to all pueblos and reservations.
Although most Pueblos, and some reservations, are
open to the public during daylight hours, the homes are private. Do
not enter without an invitation.
Please stay in the immediate village area. Do not
wander into restricted areas or areas outside the village but still
on reservation property. Do not hike or camp on
lands without permission.
Please control your children and see that they are
respectful. If they cannot be controlled, please excuse
yourself and visit on another day.
Pets are not allowed at most
Indian Pueblos or
Alcohol, weapons and illegal drugs are not allowed
and will not be tolerated.
Kivas, cemeteries, and other sacred places are not to
be entered by non-members of the community.
Do not climb walls or other structures. Some are
several hundred years old and damage easily.
Do not pick up or remove any artifacts or objects,
such as pieces of broken pottery.
Please obey all traffic, parking and speed limit
signs. These communities are called home to children at play and
many who are elderly.
not enter a building unless you are
sure it's a public building. It's extremely rude to enter someone's
house without an invitation.
If you receive an
invitation for a meal, accept graciously but do not linger.
host, but a payment or tip is not appropriate.
Treat the residents with courtesy (as you would like
to be treated), respect their ways, and observe the posted
restrictions that have been put in place to preserve the beauty and
uniqueness of their land and people.
Do not litter.
Don't offer to buy something unless
you're sure it's for sale. Hint: If someone's wearing it, it's
generally NOT for sale. Try the store instead.
Dances are spiritual in nature and are
not staged performances for your entertainment. Please act as though you
were in your own place of worship.
Please observe them with
respect and quiet attention and
don't ask for an explanation of the ceremony.
Applause after dances is not appropriate.
Refrain from talking to the dancers. Do not approach them as they are
entering, leaving or resting near the kiva.
Do not interrupt
non-dance participants' concentration by asking questions, talking or
waving to friends.
Permits, fees and restrictions vary among Pueblos and reservations.
Before you snap, ask the Visitor's Center about any specific rules. Some places, such as the
charge an additional fee.
photo permit does not give you license to disrupt dances by getting in
front of dancers or spectators.
Never photograph an
individual or private property without asking permission. When
permission is granted, it is customary to tip the individual.
The same rules apply to
audio recordings and sketches.
Photographs are for private use only and generally may not be reproduced or resold
without written permission.
Finally, call before visiting to make certain it's open. Some ceremonial
days are closed to outsiders.
of America, updated April, 2017.
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