1 Visit America’s biggest powwow.
When the Gathering of Nations opens its doors on Friday morning at Albuquerque’s Expo New Mexico, many of North America’s 574 tribes will have members there. In its 39th year and first reunion since the onset of the pandemic, it brings stunning displays of Indigenous dance, song, and regalia parades. “Gathering of Nations has grown into the largest powwow in the nation,” says Elyse Jackson, from the event’s media team.
Visitors can view competitions, visit the food court, shop goods from on-site makers, and see the Miss Indian World Pageant, which crowns a young Indigenous woman between the ages 18 and 25 as a cultural ambassador. (Get to know this year’s contestants, and hear from a past winner.) The Gathering happens all day Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight.
2 Bask in Pueblo hospitality.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, marks American Indian Week with a Spring Arts Market on Saturday and Sunday. Shop creations from 45 artists, including jewelers, painters, and ceramicists, in the cultural center’s mural-rich courtyard.
Demonstrations of painting, pottery, and traditional dance will give shoppers plenty to see both days. “During these remarkable seven days, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center welcomes visitors from all over the world,” says Alicia Ortiz, director of cultural programs. “It is a not-to-be-missed experience with amazing art, dance, history, food, and our renowned Pueblo hospitality.”
3 Head ’em out to Rawhide Days.
Step back into the Old West in Tucumcari this weekend during the fifth annual Rawhide Days celebration, which includes live music, film screenings, good eats, parades, and more. The three-day festival commemorates the popular television series Rawhide, which was filmed in Tucumcari in the late 1950s and helped launch Clint Eastwood’s career. The full schedule includes chuck wagon cookouts, living history performances, a cowboy church service, and a craft fair.
4 Meet a Living Treasure.
See the work of artist Virgil Ortiz once and you will never forget it. His visionary works in ceramics, fashion and jewelry design, and video art combine Pueblo history and traditions with sci-fi and fantasy elements. But he is grounded in the Cochiti Pueblo clay his mother and grandmother taught him to shape. “It is vital that our traditional methods and materials are not forgotten, but carried forward,” Ortiz says.
In honor of Ortiz’s designation as the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s 2022 Living Treasure, an exhibition of his work opens at the museum in Santa Fe on Sunday. A signing of his 2021 book Virgil Ortiz: reVOlution, artist talk, reception, and general celebration happens from 1 to 5 p.m. “It is important to tell people about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680,” Ortiz says of his ongoing series 1680/2180. “I want to give voice to all the pottery destroyed at that time. I have made it my mission to retell this story in a way that speaks to the generations, and in turn to educate the world.”
5 Get down on the farm.
The verdant grounds at Farm & Table in the North Valley of Albuquerque are what spring dreams are made from. Visit on Sunday for the free Cinco de Mayo Folk Art Festival hosted by the restaurant and its on-site shop, La Parada. An annual tradition since 2013, the festival includes more than 30 vendors with handmade goods: textiles, lamps, pet shrines, soap, skincare products, dish towels, clothing, jewelry, and more. Decorate your own piñata at an 11 a.m. workshop, listen to the live music of Juanita from noon to 3 p.m., and enjoy festival bites on the Farm & Table patio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ride your bike or carpool if you can; parking is limited.