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NATIVE AMERICAN FLAGS

The Santa Clara Pueblo of the Tewa

Four tribes comprise the eastern Pueblo Indians - those settled along the Rio Grande River in central New Mexico, the Keres (see the Nambe and the Zia), the Tiwa, Tewa and Towa (ENAT, 206-209). The western Pueblo are the Hopi and the Zuni. The close to 2,500 residents of the nearly 50,000 acres of the Santa Clara Pueblo belong to the Tano-Tewa, or Tewa tribe.

Flying over the the Pueblo of Santa Clara is a white flag that was designed by a former Governor of the Pueblo of Santa Clara, Mr. Edwin Tafoya, a member of the Santa Clara Tribe. Mr. Tafoya presented the design as a gift to the tribe and flags have been made locally from that design.

The design is basically a white flag bearing at each corner a light blue "stepped" pattern consisting of four steps while the center of each edge bears a two "step" block pattern. These patterns recall the pueblo architecture of the adobe structures so associated with the New Mexico Indian nations.

Centered on the flag is a Santa Clara art form, a wedding vase in the distinctive black and white coloring for which Santa Clara is famous. Centered upon the vase is a white outline of a bear claw which symbolizes strength and protection. Surrounding the wedding vase in black is a "water serpent" design employed on much of the santa Clara pottery. Above the serpent and vase emblem appears the name "Santa Clara" while below is the word "Pueblo". All writing appears in black.

As manufactured locally, the flag is nearly square in its proportions, not the typical rectangular format seen in commercially manufactured flags. Estimated proportions are 1.2 wide by 1 tall.

Don Healy, Bisbee, Az 85603