Cochiti Pueblo-Keres Nation

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 had a nest in which she laid two eggs. For a day or so she sat on the eggs to hatch them, but then she grew tired of this and went off to hunt food for herself. Day after day passed but Crow did not return, and every morning Hawk flew by and saw the eggs with no one there to keep them warm.

One morning Hawk said to herself, “Crow who owns this nest no longer cares for it. Those eggs should not be lying unwarmed. I will sit on them and when they hatch they will be my children.”

For many days Hawk sat on the eggs and Crow never came to the nest. Finally the eggs began to hatch. Still no Crow came. Both little ones hatched out and mother Hawk flew about getting food for them. They grew larger and larger until their wings became strong. Then mother Hawk took them off the nest and showed them how to fly.

About this time, Crow remembered her nest and she came back to it. She found the eggs hatched and Hawk taking care of her little ones. Hawk was on the ground, feeding with the young crows.

“Hawk, what do you think you are doing?” cried Crow.

“I am doing nothing wrong,” Hawk said.

“You must return these young crows you are leading around.”


“Because they are mine,” Crow replied.

“To be sure, you laid the eggs,” Hawk said, “but you went off and left them. There was no one to sit upon them and keep them warm. I came and sat upon the nest and hatched them. When they were hatched I fed them and now I am showing them how to find their own food. They are mine and I shall not return them to you.”

“I shall take them back,” Crow threatened.

“I shall not give them up. I have worked for them. Many days I went without food sitting there upon the eggs. In all that time you did not come near your nest. Why is it that now I have done all the work to hatch and raise them you want them back?

Crow looked down at the young ones. “My children,” she said, come with me. I am your mother.”

But the young ones answered: “We do not know you. Hawk is our mother.”

At last, after she saw that she could not make the little crows come with her, Crow said: “Very well, I shall take this matter to Eagle, the King of the Birds, and let him decide. We shall see who has the right to these young crows.”

“Good,” said Hawk. “I am willing to go and tell the King of the Birds about this.”

And so Crow and Hawk and the two young birds went to see Eagle. Crow spoke first. “When I returned to my nest,” she said, “I found my eggs hatched and Hawk taking charge of my young ones. I have come to you, the King of the Birds, to ask that Hawk be required to return the Children to me.”

“Why did you leave your nest?” Eagle asked Crow.

To this question, Crow gave no reply. She simply bowed her head in silence.

“Very well, Hawk,” Eagle said, “how did you find this nest of eggs ?”

“Many times I flew over the nest and found it empty,” Hawk replied. “No one came for a long time, and so I said to myself, ‘The mother who made this nest can no longer care for these eggs I shall be glad to hatch these little ones.’ So I sat on the nest and warmed the eggs until they hatched. Then I went about getting food for the young ones. I worked hard and taught them to fly and to find food for themselves.”

“But they are my children,” Crow interrupted. “I laid the eggs.”

Eagle glared at Crow. “Wait for your turn to speak,” he said sternly, and then turned back to Hawk. “Is that all you have to say, Hawk?”

“Yes, I have worked hard to raise my two young ones. Just when they are able to care for themselves, Crow comes back and asks to have them given to her. It is I who went without food for days so as to stay on the nest and keep the eggs warm. The birds are now my little ones. I do not wish to give them up.”

Eagle thought a few moments, muttering aloud to himself: “It seems that mother Hawk is not willing to return the young ones to mother Crow. If mother Crow had truly wanted these young ones, why did she leave the nest for so many days, and now is demanding that they be given to her? In truth, Hawk is the mother of the young ones because she went without food while she warmed and hatched them and then flew about searching out their food. So now they are her children.”

When she heard this. Crow approached closer to Eagle. “Oh, King of the Birds,” she said, “why do you not ask the young ones which mother they will choose to follow? They are old enough to know that they are crows and not hawks.”

Eagle nodded his head and turned to the young ones. “Which mother will you choose?” he asked.

Both young Crows answered together: “Hawk is our mother. She is the only mother we know.”

“No!” cried Crow. “I am your only mother!”

The young crows then said to her: “You abandoned us in the nest. Hawk hatched us and took care of us and she is our mother.”

“It is settled,” Eagle declared. “The young ones have chosen Hawk to be their mother. So it shall be.”

At this, Crow began to weep.

“It is useless to weep,” said Eagle. “You abandoned your nest and it is your own fault that you have lost your children. It is the decision of the King of the Birds that they shall go with mother Hawk.”

And so the young crows stayed with Hawk, and Crow lost her children.

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

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