History, culture and more

About Abiquiú, New Mexico

Visiting the Village of Abiquiu, New Mexico, located between Santa Fe and Taos, should be on everyone’s bucket list. Dinosaurs once roamed the lands and many of their fossils have been found in the area. Native Americans, Spanish explorers, and castle wrestlers all called this land home. Abiquiú is thought to be the beginning of The Old Spanish Trail, linking Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

 

Our most famous resident was Georgia O’Keeffe, an Amerian artist who began spending time here in the late 1920's. She eventually made Abiquiú her home  and  made it famous through her paintings. Today, you can still see the vistas painted and loved so dearly. It’s no surprise, but Hollywood found Abiquiú and many films have been produced here, including Magnificent Seven; the 4th Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Cowboys and Aliens; City Slickers; Wyatt Earp; The Last Outlaw and more. 

There is so much to do and see in Abiquiú:

  • Ghost Ranch hiking, tours, classes, museums, horseback riding, O'Keeffe, movie sets and more

  • Plaza Blanca

  • Echo Amphitheater

  • Local galleries in this artist’s colony

  • Georgia O’Keeffe tours

  • Christ Monastery in the Desert

  • Abiquiú Lake

  • Rio Chama

  • Cerro Pedernal

  • Carson National Forest

  • Whitewater rafting, boating, fishing and swimming

  • Pueblos and culture

  • Day trips to Santa Fe, Taos, Bandelier, Chaco Canyon, Toltec & Cumbres Railroad, Meow Wolf and more

 

Of course, we think the absolute best part of Abiquiú are luxury vacation homes, The Casita del Lago and Abiquiú Lake Mesa, and the guest rooms and views of The Studios of Abiquiú Lake. Each are the perfect home base for you to Discover Abiquiú.

>read our Discover Abiquiú blog

History of Abiquiú

Phé shúu ú (also known as P'efu or Avéshu), was the name given by the Tewa people to what is known today as Abiquiú, a village that lies near the west bank of Rio Chama. Meaning "timber point," the name  translates to stick of wood (phe) and projecting point of hill or mesa (shúu). The Spanish pronunciation of the Phé shúu ú (Avéshu) turned the name to Abiquiú as early Mexican colonists took over the area.

 

Historians believe Abiquiú was built on top of the ruins of a prehistoric Tewa Pueblo that existed in 1300 A.D. Native Americans inhabited Rio Chama Valley for thousands of years before the Spanish established a small town here in the early 1700s.

By the 1730s, early Hispanic colonists created ranchos and plazas in the Rio Chama Valley and founded Santa Rosa de Lima de Abiquiú.  However, because of the cultural and land conflicts between colonists and native people, these settlers frequently abandoned their homes.  In 1747, Santa Rosa de Lima was completely abandoned when the Utes and Comanche Indians attacked the settlers in a deadly battle.

In 1750, Spanish authorities mandated the resettlement of Abiquiú and relocated the village upstream to its present location, but the conflicts continued. So in 1754, Governor Capuchin awarded a land grant to 34 "detribalized" Indian families (Genizaros) on the mesa above Santa Rosa de Lima; in return for the land grant, the Genizaros provided a military defense for the Spanish authorities. The Genizaros, who now owned their own land, built houses and named the new pueblo The Pueblo de Abiquiú.  So, the village of Abiquiú was founded in 1754, 22 years before American independence. 

 

One of the cultural conflicts centered around what was perceived by the colonists to be the practice of witchcraft. Many suspected "sorcerers and witches" were jailed and beaten. The Spanish authorities used this as a way to turn the Genezaro community away from their culture and natural healing practices. 

However, the treaty was never ratified by Congress and disputes over land continued. The government believed that land that had not yet been developed or farmed could be seized and distributed to new settlers. Despite their actions, the Pueblo de Abiquiú was able to protect its land grant because it had a well-documented history of ownership and use. The nearby Piedra Lumbre grant wasn't as lucky and that land was claimed by Thomas B. Catron (of the notorious Santa Fe Ring) and a group of entrepreneurs who eventually gained ownership of two-thirds of the grant.  Efforts in the mid-twentieth century to return some National Forest lands near Abiquiú back to the original Hispanic families who owned those original land claims were successful, thanks to negotiations initiated by the Presbyterian-owned Ghost Ranch.

stay. recharge. explore. Discover Abiquiú.