Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mission San Esteban Ray at Acoma

Mission San Estaban Ray
The Mission San Estaban Ray at Acoma Pueblo dates from circa 1641, and has undergone reconstruction. All my pictures are of the exterior because photographs of the alter piece and the santos are not allowed. The mass of the mission and its nearness to the cemetery and other buildings also makes a total view impossible. Still the geometry of the structure makes it a wonderful photographic model.

Two bell towers

Detail of bell tower and original bell
School Balcony
The church and its interior and the art dating from the 1500's are all remarkably cared for even with the treatment the Spanish Catholic church gave the Acoma Natives. Two major Catholic feast days are still celebrated but the center of the spiritual life of the residents are the kivas.

The kivas on Acoma are not round but square as disguise from the Catholic friars and priests. Entrances are on the roof and ladders lead to them.

Kivas and ladders
Many of the residences are also entered from the roof and have ladders to enable access, however the ladders to the kivas are painted white. And the main kiva has a three upright ladder with cross piece to represent clouds. Not sure how this went along with the secret of kivas.

Main Kiva ladder

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