Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pueblo of Sandia / Ben Mur Indian Market Center

Bien Mur Indian Market Sign 
The Sandia Pueblo Indian lands are located on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The actual pueblo village sits a short distance East of the Rio Grande River in the shadows of the Sandia Mountains.   The pueblo was once the largest along the Rio Grande with a population of 3000, but today they number only about 500 members.   The tribe's modern enterprises especially the Sandia Casino have become a sizable economic force within the state with an employee roster numbering in excess of 2,000.   

I recently read that the Sandia Pueblo people were noted for fine pottery marketed through their  own  Ben Mur Indian Market located near the casino.  Today, Sandy and I went in search.   We drove through their small Pueblo on our route to the market.  We saw no outward evidence of craft within the pueblo.    The Ben Mur Indian Market is the largest Indian arts store in the Southwest.   Even though we found an outstanding inventory, their only piece of Sandia Pueblo pottery for sale was an outstanding vase by the late John Montoya priced just shy of $14,000.  The sales clerk told us they no longer receive Sandia pottery, but the art work of many tribes is well represented.
Top:  Sandia Casino
Bottom:  Sandia Pueblo as seen from El Camino Real (Highway 313)