Why am I going to the Feast at San Ildefonso?

First...What is a Feast Day at a Pueblo?  “Feast Days” at each of the Pueblos are named after the Pueblos’ patron saint.  The Pueblos open up their respective Feast Days to the public (see calendar and etiquette pages) where visitors can view the reverant dances and songs offered on those days.

 Feast Days bring tribal members together to renew their culture, language and native religion.  On those days, families prepare food for the many invited visitors coming through their homes, and participate in the activities taking place on their Feast Day. Pueblo Feast Day Dates do not change and are held on the same date each year.

San Ildefonso Feast Day is January 23rd each year.

San I as it is called, is a special place to me.  I first visted there when I was invited to the home of noted potter Dora Tse Pe Pena.  She was one of my idols and brought such beauty to the world with her graceful and elegant pots.  I became one of her family and to this day, I feel that San I is home.

 

The sad news is that because of age and illness, Dora is no longer able to make pottery.  She has mentored other artists so her legacy lives on, but she herself does not have the stamina to do the tedious and hard labor of making pots.

Feast day is a labor intensive and very expensive proposition.  Shopping, baking and cooking begin weeks before the actual day.  The entire family pitches in to make the constant stream of visiting guests feel welcome.

That is why I am going...to pitch in.  I will travel to the Pueblo early to help Dora and her family get ready for the Feast. 

 

Being a part of this day with my dear friend Dora is a blessing.