I’ve driven past the Poeh Museum a kajillion times now and finally decided that THIS was the weekend to visit. (Maybe the solar eclipse was influencing my behavior?) I have admired the traditional Pueblo architecture — the Poeh Tower is the tallest adobe structure in New Mexico — and I always wondered what world was waiting inside.
I was pleasantly surprised right from the start. First of all, admission was by donation — a rarity, so I was generous. Secondly, the docent personally led me to the entrance of the exhibits: a dark cave-like structure with water running through it, meant to represent the creation or beginning of the Tewa/Pueblo people. It was kind of creepy and beautiful all at once. I loved it.
From there, I went through several rooms with hand painted murals and sculptures depicting Pueblo life, including a disturbing scene about the Spanish invading and forcibly converting the native peoples to Christianity in the 16th century. It never ceases to amaze and embarrass me the injustices that humans can incur on one another. And then, to top it off, the altar room — where Catholicism and Native American beliefs converged in one magnificent tribute to the Divine. This was indeed a spiritual place for me and a highlight of my visit. If I would have been allowed, I would’ve knelt and gave thanks that — despite all the injustice and bloodshed — this kind of amalgamation of religion and cultures was even in existence.
The rest of my visit was mere icing on the cake after that: pottery, embroidery, a tour of the Tower Gallery, and a walk through the sculpture garden. So glad I took the time to wander through the Poeh!
MORE INFO: poehcenter.org