Published on August 18, 2012 by Amy
Ohkay Owingeh is a pueblo and census designated place in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, United States. Its elevation is 5,663 feet (1,726 m) and it is located at 36°03′12″N 106°04′08″W. One of its boundaries is contiguous with Española, about 25 miles (40 km) north of Santa Fe.
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Ohkay Owingeh was previously known as San Juan Pueblo until returning to its pre-Spanish name in November 2005. The Tewa name of the pueblo means “place of the strong people”.
Ohkay Owingeh has the ZIP code 87566 and the U.S. Postal Service prefers that name for addressing mail, but accepts the alternative name San Juan Pueblo. This ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) had a population of 3,357 at the 2000 Census. The entire pueblo has a population of 6,748.
The pueblo was founded around 1200 AD during the Pueblo III Era. By tradition, the Tewa people moved here from the north, perhaps from the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, part of a great migration spanning into the Pueblo IV Era.
After taking control of the pueblo in 1598, the Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate renamed the pueblo San Juan de los Caballeros after his patron saint, John the Baptist. He then established the first Spanish capital of New Mexico nearby.
The community was known as the San Juan Indian Reservation.
Ohkay Owingeh is the headquarters of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, and the pueblo people are from the Tewa ethnic group of Native Americans. It is one of the largest Tewa-speaking pueblos.
The annual Pueblo Feast Day is June 24. The tribe owns the OhKay Casino and the Oke-Oweenge Crafts Cooperative, which showcases redware pottery, weaving, painting, and other artwork from the eight northern pueblos.