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Rio Grande Pueblo Winter Solstice Feasts and Dances – G191241

Workshop ID: G191241
Dates: December 23 - December 28
Price: $550.00 - $1,285.00

Only two spots left. Winter Solstice in the seasonal cycle is the time for the seeds to rest, when the shortest days pass into the longer, when thanks are given for the change of darkness into light. It is a revered time for the Rio Grande Pueblos. See the winter dances of the Pueblos. Among the possibilities are the Buffalo dance at Jemez Pueblo, the Deer Dance at Taos Pueblo, Comanche Dance at Tesuque Pueblo and the Turtle Dance at Ohkay-Owingeh Pueblo. Dances subject to change per the Pueblo schedules.


Package Price
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath$1,285.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath$1,225.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath$995.00
Camping RV$700.00
Camping w/Electricity$670.00
Rio Arriba Commuter$550.00
Martha Yates

Martha Yates, Ph.D. lives in Vallecitos, NM. Martha is a professional archaeologist working as an interpretive guide and teacher. She is a published poet, leader of writing groups, photographer and scholar, and teaches classes for colleges, universities and public schools. She can


Please click here to download a PDF of the welcome letter and itinerary: Yates Winter Solstice Welcome Letter Itinerary

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Rio Grande Pueblo Winter Solstice Feasts and Dances week at Ghost Ranch. I’m your leader, guide, and teacher and I’ve been an archaeologist in the Southwest for over 25 years.

I hope for 50-degree sunny weather during our week as we have often had in the past —  But it’s wiser to plan for cold weather, possibly down to 35 degrees during the day. Here is what I advise that you bring with you:

Heavy jacket for cold weather, hat, warm gloves, warm scarf

Warm socks, several changes of socks, long underwear, turtleneck, gloves

Warm sweater — and layers (for those times it is 55 degrees and sunny)

Boots that you can stand in for a couple of hours, stay warm in, and that are good in snow (just in case) and comfortable walking shoes

Daypack for carrying your sack lunch, water bottles, camera, sunscreen

Two water bottles, 1 quart each, reusable.

Flashlight (important at night at the Ranch)

Other necessities you would normally travel with

You may want to bring binoculars with you and camera – they will be useful – but they can’t be used at the dances or carried into the pueblos

If any of you have special food needs, if you are vegetarians, vegan or gluten-free, we will need to know. As soon as you can, please get back to me with the information. There will be food alternatives for those with special food needs. Also, when do you expect to arrive at the Ranch on Saturday Dec 23rd and by what kind of transportation? This will be helpful in my knowing if you need transportation to the Ranch.

Check-in time at the Ranch on Monday, December 23 is 3:00 pm. Dinner is from 5:30-6:30 pm. After dinner on we meet for Orientation at about 6:45 pm. Please check at the Welcome Center for the location of our meeting.

Some of you may want to know my recommended readings. I have attached a bibliography. Most of these will be available in the Ghost Ranch Library — so please don’t go out of your way to get them. I’ll be giving background presentations on the History/Culture of the Southwest and on the Pueblo Dances the morning of December 24. We are planning a Holiday dinner at the Ranch for late in the day on the 25th.

I have attached a draft itinerary, which may change as the week draws closer. Some pueblos have not yet decided on the specific dance for each day.

Please confirm that you have received this email – I’ll then call those who haven’t. Feel free to email or call me anytime with any questions you may have – or   575-582-4233.

I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.

Best Wishes,


Monday DECEMBER 23      

Arrival and Evening Orientation

3:00 pm (or later):  Check in at the Welcome Center

5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Dinner

6:45 pm: Orientation in Agape Gathering Room

Tuesday DECEMBER 24  

Christmas Eve at Ohkay pueblo

Breakfast: 7:30 am-8:30 am

9:00 am: Background presentations: Cultural History/Pueblo Dances

Noon – 1:00 pm: Lunch at the Ranch

1:00 pm- 3:00 pm: Free Time

3:15 pm: Depart for Ohkay-Owinge Pueblo

Take sack dinners/snacks. Meet behind dining hall

Evening: Return to Ghost Ranch

Wednesday  DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day   

Deer Dance or  Buffalo Dance

11:00 am: Depart from behind the dining hall. Bring sack lunches

5:30 pm: Christmas dinner at the ranch

Thursday DECEMBER 26 

Turtle Dance, Ohkay-Owinge Pueblo

9:30 am: Depart from behind dining hall. Bring sack lunches

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner at the ranch

Friday DECEMBER 27 

Corn Dance at Santo Domingo and/or San Felipe Pueblo

8:00 am: Depart from behind dining hall. Bring sack lunches.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner at the Ranch

Evening: Final discussion and farewell.

Saturday DECEMBER 28

Departures from the Ranch.

Check-out by 10:00 am


Please note that the Pueblos can change their dance schedule and weather considerations may affect our travel destination, but this rarely happens and there are good alternatives.

Please note that our workshop price structure packages your tuition, course materials, lodging and meals together in a single rate. Prices are presented for each of the types of lodging available for the workshop you select. Some art workshops will have an additional list of course materials and supplies that can be purchased or you will be asked to bring with you.
  • Note:  Some courses (especially studio courses and plein air painting courses) can carry an additional material list or expense.
All rates are Per Person, Double Occupancy unless otherwise specified. Single Occupancy: Single occupancy rooms may be reserved for an additional $50 per night when space is available. The fee will be charged when space is confirmed. Single occupancy lodging is generally not available during June and July. If you are a single person and do not specify a roommate, a roommate of the same gender will be assigned to share your lodging space or you can request the single occupancy and be charged the supplement of an additional $50 per night (based on availability). For more information or if you would like to attend this workshop, but do not need lodging, please call the Registrar's Office at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1001 ext 4155 or toll-free at 877.804.4678 — available SundayFriday8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. MST.

Three ways to register:

  1. Download printable registration form and mail to: Ghost Ranch Registrar, 280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, NM 87510. OR scan and email your completed form to:
  2. Register by telephone at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1017 or toll-free at 877.804.4678, ext. 4155 or ext. 4121 — available Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. MST.
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