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Santa Clara Pueblo
Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Native American,New Mexico | No Comments
Santa Clara is poor. The valley which widens toward San Juan closes again on its approach to Santa Clara. The pueblo occupies a site on the right bank of the river at its junction with the canyon. The stream running from this is apt to dry up before the end of the summer. A system of acequias has been constructed here, and corn was planted this year. But little water was flowing daring my visit in the middle of August, and most of the acequias were dry and dusty, The corn was not mature. A reservoir in the canyon would relieve much anxiety and prevent frequent loss of crops to the Indians. From the northern boundary of the grant toward the town (the town invariably occupies the center of pueblo grants) little or no farming is done, the mesa here running close to the river. Below the village on the right bank lies most of the tilled land. Three hundred and fifty acres are here, devoted to corn, wheat, alfalfa, and a variety of vegetables. There are but few orchards. The largest plot owned by one man is 30 acres. From this the holdings decrease in size to 3 and. 2 acres. There are 22 horses, 4 oxen, and 30 burros in the pueblo. Some who have horses have no harness and no money to purchase. The agency granted 2 plows for the village, which are used by lot. The only revenue outside of their farms comes from work on the railroad, where they receive from 50 to 75 cents per clay and board. The women manufacture fine pottery, and some families are quite constantly employed by orders for the eastern market. On the left hank of the river their land, 3 miles long by 1 mile wide, is at present in litigation. There are 2 cases now pending in the courts against the pueblo. The inhabitants of the town are divided by party controversies. This has involved them in intricate troubles over their land. Indians of one faction have come into the courts of Santa Fe and sworn that they did not own or care for certain portions of land. The pueblo has a grievance against 8 Mexicans and 1 American who have fenced in portions of their second grant in the canyon several miles from the village, and have seized time water supplies. A title to the grant dated 1763 from the Spanish authorities has been placed in evidence. This case has now hung for 9 years in the courts. As possession for 10 years is the best title to be had in the territory, immediate action is necessary.
In the pueblito; or little village of the canyon, live 5 families. Their houses are constructed of cedar posts and mud, and are small. They farm small patches here and there, in all about 40 acres. The water supply is limited. Santa Clara has a grant of 17,360 acres.
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