New Mexico: Cochiti


The Cochiti people are thought to have come from the Anasazi, who lived near Frijoles Canyon. Settled along the Rio Grande River, the Keresan-speaking Cochiti people irrigated their crops of beans, squash and corn.  

They settled in this area sometime around 1250 AD. The Cochiti Pueblo was infrequently visited by the Spanish until 1581 – about 40 years later than most other pueblos. 

Life with the Spanish was taxing for the Cochiti people due to the endless mandatory tributes, banning of traditional religious practices, slavery and false imprisonment. So, the Cochiti participated in the Pueblo revolts of 1680. Afterward, they fled to more defensible positions near their present-day village. In 1696, the Spanish came back and demolished the pueblo. 


There is very little farming on the 53,000-acre pueblo today. This northern-most pueblo is home to roughly 1,500 people.  

The Cochiti are still famous for their drum making, jewelry, pottery and storytelling figurines (revived by the late Cochiti member Helen Cordero). They maintain cultural practices and have programs dedicated to educating younger generations in their traditions and language. 

The Pueblo offers an Elder center and a range of community events from planting to fitness classes. Health care is offered by the Cochiti Health Clinic with a variety of general services like dental care, health education, nutrition services and diabetes outreach. 

Cochiti people and visitors can experience the history and preserved lands of the pueblo at Cochiti Lake, the top-rated Cochiti Golf Course and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.