Zia Pueblo

Oldest Operating Church in United States

Evangeline Chavez 2010

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncíon (Our Lady of the Assumption) perches at the northern edge of the village. Built in 1610 and rebuilt in 1692 after the Pueblo Revolt, the whitewashed church is decorated with yellow and white horses painted by Ralph Aragon, a local artist. Peter Pino, tribal administrator stated it is the oldest church operating in United States

The legend  about the bell that used to grace Nuestra Señora de la Asuncíon’s bell tower, says that it was the envy of the southern pueblos, with a peal that could be heard all the way to Santa Ana Pueblo. During a terrible drought, the Zia people decided to back up their prayers with a sacrifice. They took down their precious bell and buried it in the side of the mesa. It’s still in there somewhere as far as anyone knows.

photo taken with permission by Peter Pino, tribal administrator

~ by Evangeline Art Photography on October 2, 2010.

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