Cochiti Pueblo-Keres

The people of Cochiti continue to retain their native language of Keres. They maintain their cultural practices and have instituted programs dedicated to teaching and educating the younger generation Pueblo traditions and cultural practices emphasizing the native language.

Cochiti is well known for their craftsmanship in making jewelry, pottery, (storyteller), and drums.

Cochiti (Ko-chi-ti'). A Keresan tribe and its pueblo on the west bank of the Rio Grande, 27 miles south west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before moving to their present location the inhabitants occupied the Tyuonyi, or Rito de los Frijoles, the Potrero de las Vacas, the pueblo of Haatze on Potrero San Miguel or Potrero del Capulin, and the pueblo of Kuapa in the Cañada de Cochiti. Up to this time, which was still before the earliest Spanish explorations, the ancestors of the present San Felipe inhabitants and those of Cochiti formed one tribe speaking a single dialect, but on account of the persistent hostility of their north neighbors, the Tewa (to whom is attributed this gradual southerly movement and through whore they were compelled to abandon Kuapa), the tribe was divided, one branch going southward, where they built the pueblo of Katishtya (later called San Felipe), while the other took refuge on the Potrero Viejo, where they established at least a temporary pueblo known as Hanut Cochiti. On the abandonment of this village they retired 6 or 7 miles south east to the site of the present Cochiti, on the Rio Grande, where they were found by Oñate in 1598.

The Cochiti took an active part in the Pueblo revolt of 1680, but remained in their pueblo for 15 months after the outbreak, when, learning of the return of Gov. Otertnin to reconquer New Mexico, they retreated with the Keresan tribes of San Felipe and Santo Domingo, re-enforced by some Tewa from San Marcos and by Tigua from Taos and Picuris, to the Potrero Viejo, where they remained until about 1683, when it was reported that all the villages from San Felipe northward were inhabited. Between 1683 and 1692 the Cochiti, with their San Felipe and San Marcos allies, again took refuge on the Potrero Viejo. In the fall of the latter year they were visited in their fortified abode (known to the Spaniards as Cieneguilla) by Vargas, the reconqueror of New Mexico, who induced them to promise to return to their permanent villages on the Rio Grande. But only San Felipe proved sincere, for in 1692 the Cochiti returned to the Potrero, where they remained until early in the following year, when Vargas, with 70 soldiers, 20 colonists, and 100 warriors from the friendly villagers of San Felipe, Santa Ana, and Sia, assaulted the pueblo at midnight and forced the Cochiti to flee, the Indian allies leaving for the protection of their own homes.

The force of Vargas being thus weakened, the Cochiti returned, surprised the Spaniard, and succeeded in liberating most of the Indian captives. Vargas remained a short time, then burned the pueblo and evacuated the Potrero, taking with him to Santa Fe a large quantity of corn and other booty and nearly 200 captive women. Cochiti was the seat of the Spanish mission of San Buenaventura, with 300 inhabitants in 1680, but it was reduced to a visita of Santo Domingo after 1782. These villagers recognize the following clans, those marked with an asterisk being extinct: Oshach (Sun), Tsits (Water), Itra (Cottonwood), Shuwhami (Turquoise), Mohkach (Mountain Lion), Kuhaia (Bear), Tanyi (Calabash), Shrutsuna (Coyote), Hapanyi (Oak), Yaka (Corn, Hakanyi (Fire), *Dyami (Eagle) *Tsin (Turkey), *Kuts (Antelope), *Shruhwi (Rattlesnake), *Washpa (Dance-kilt), *Kishqra (Reindeer?). In addition, Bandelier notes an Ivy and a Mexican Sage clan.

The Cochiti people are noted for their hospitality and friendship towards visitors who are welcomed to many of the annual ceremonies for which Cochiti is famous.

Many members of the Pueblo live outside the reservation and have been acculturated into the anglo-Hispanic community, but most of them continue their association with the Pueblo, especially during the major feast day.  San Buenaventura’s Day in July.  This is marked by dancing and ceremonies of traditional pattern and authentic costumes.

Present population 300. The Cochiti people occupy a grant of 24,256 acres, allotted to them by the Spanish government and confirmed by United States patent in 1864.

English Pronunciation: "Coh-chee-tee"
Traditional Name: KO-TYIT
I-25, 33 miles north of Albuquerque, exit 259,
north 14 miles on NM 22.
505-465-2244 |


Antelope Hunting
Arrow Boy Recovers His Wife
Arrow Boy Triumphs Over His Mockers
Arrow Boy's Son
Arrow Boy, Child Of The Witch Man
Arrow Youth
Arrow Youth 2
Bat Boy
Betting Eyes
Bird And Toad Play Hide And Seek
Bloody Hand-Print Katcina

Boy Of White House Marries A Girl
of The Village Of The Stone Lions

Buffalo Hunting Of The Plains
Bungling Host

Burro and the Coyote
Butterfly Pursuit
Cactus Lover
Cochiti Tribe
Contest for Wives

Corncob Boy

Corncob Boy
Intercedes For His People

Corncob Boy
Marries Deer Planter's Daughters

Corncob Boy
Triumphs Over His Mockers

Coyote And Beaver Exchange Wives

Coyote Brings Her Children
To Play With The Quails

Coyote Fails As Initiate
Coyote Has A Ball On Her Toe
Coyote Imitates Crow
Coyote Interrupts The Corn Dance
Coyote Sings For The Prairie Dogs
Coyote Spills the Stars
Crane And Geese
Crow and Hawk

Crow's Song
Deer and Coyote
Duck Sings For Her Children
Fox And Coyote
Geese Go Shell Gathering

Geese Talk The Santa Ana Language
Ginini (Halfwit)
Half Rooster
Heluta and Nyenyega Contest for a Wife
Heluta Plants the Deer
Horned Toad Sings In Black Boy's Stomach
How The People Came Up From Frijoles
How They Came Down From The Mesa
Hummingbird Has Food
Industrious Daughter Who Would Not Marry
Kotcimanyako Scatters The Stars
Lion And Grizzly Bear
Locust Boy

Neglectful Mother

Origin of the Cat
Scaring Contest

Tales of the Cochiti Indians

Woodrat and Mouse
Challenge Each Other



Artists of Cochiti
Cochiti's Best Storytellers
Pueblo Tribes: Cochiti
Cochiti Pueblo "Katyete or Ko-Chits"
Cochiti's Best Storytellers
(Pottery - Storytellers)

“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.

Cochitl Stories

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Copyright @ 1993-2016

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