DISCOVER OUR CULTURE
NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE
Native Americans have inhabited New Mexico for thousands of years, well before Europeans reached the Americas. This rich history is embodied throughout Native American culture today. Northern New Mexico is home to 19 pueblos, along with the Navajo Nation. Albuquerque’s central location within New Mexico means it is in close proximity to a majority of the pueblos in Northern New Mexico. From cliff dwellings and pit houses, to kivas and abandoned cities along ancient trade routes, to ancient symbols etched in rock, there are reminders of Native American presence throughout New Mexico.
There are a number of special events that celebrate Native American Culture, including the world-renowned Gathering of Nations. The Gathering of Nations is North America’s largest Powwow with a massive celebration with hundreds of Native American dancers and singers representing more than 700 tribes from Canada and the U.S. The event is held annually on the fourth weekend in April. There are competitions in 32 dancing categories held during the Pow-Wow. Other competitions include singing, drumming, and special events such as a pageant for Miss Indian World.
Hispanic Culture is evident throughout New Mexico. You can see its influence everywhere, from our city name and the names of many of our streets, to the amazing adobe architecture, along with our art, dance, and music scenes. Nearly half of New Mexico’s population is of Hispanic or Latino decent, which makes Hispanic Culture a living breathing part of our state. The Hispanic culture traces its roots back to the Spanish settlers, and immigrants from Mexico, and other immigrants from throughout Latin America continue to contribute to and grow the Hispanic and Latino culture here in the city.
There are also a number of annual events in the city that celebrate Hispanic Culture, but perhaps none brings together Latin music and dance better than Festival Flamenco International. This festival celebrates flamenco, the ancient form of artistic expression of the Spanish-Gypsy culture. The intense dance explores a full range of human emotion that leaves audiences captivated. The world’s most talented flamenco performers have been coming to entertain Albuquerque audiences at this annual festival for the past 30 years.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is the best place in Albuquerque to learn more about Hispanic heritage in Albuquerque and New Mexico. There are a number of exhibits, programs, and performances that happen monthly to showcase and educate everyone on our culture.
Spanning three stages, the NHCC’s Performing Arts Program brings international, national and local artists to perform everything from contemporary to traditional music, dance and theatre.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is the place to learn about the history, culture, and traditions of the 19 pueblos who call New Mexico home. They offer exhibits, performances, and cultural programs designed to tell the pueblo story through the words and voices of Pueblo people.
You can’t immerse yourself in a culture without tasting the food. The food in New Mexico is representative of the diversity of cultures that make up our state – a fusion of our Native American, Hispanic, and Mexican heritage.
Whether you are seeking traditional New Mexican food, with authentic New Mexican red or green chiles, or Native American cuisine inspired by one of the 23 Native American groups who call New Mexico home, there is always something to answer your craving for unique New Mexican dishes. Looking for something a little different? New Mexico offers just about any type of cuisine you can think of, so there is always something to indulge everyone’s tastes.
New Mexico chile is the iconic ingredient in New Mexican
Native Americans have been here in New Mexico for thousands of years, and bring with them a rich history of unique traditional dishes using locally sourced ingredients. There are many opportunities to explore the Native American cuisine of the state. Many restaurants offer dishes inspired by Pueblo specialties, such as Indian fry bread, mutton stew, or dishes that feature the diverse game available in the state. Or go straight to the source, and visit one of the surrounding pueblos for authentic Native American cuisine.
We also have restaurants known for spotlighting unique modern takes on traditional Native American cuisine. Or you can go straight to the source, and visit one of the surrounding pueblos for an authentic Native American taste.