The Zia, named for Zia Pueblo, who first used it, is another symbol of the sun, and also of the four directions and the circle of life on earth. It also may be connected with the place of emergence, the sipapu, in stories. When New Mexico became a State, in 1912, the Zia was adopted as the symbol for the State Flag. It appears as the sun in red, to honor the Indian Nations, on a yellow field (yellow was the royal color of the Spanish crown carried by the conquistador Coronado in 1540, the date of his entrance into New Mexico, at Zuni and the first recorded European contact with North American Indian people).
The Keres-speaking pueblo is home to about 650 members and is situated near the Jémez River. Behind the pueblo lie the Nacimiento Mountains and the Pajarito and Jémez plateaus, which are accessible via Indian Routes 78 and 79 with tribal permission.
Potters from Zia Pueblo are known for geometric designs, including the Zia, which they use on pottery, as well as plant and animal motifs that they depict against white backgrounds. The pueblo women are skilled at making thin-walled pottery usually decorated with bird symbols. Pueblo artwork is available at the Zia Cultural Center, which also sells paintings, sculpture, weavings and more.
The pueblo also offers bass, catfish and trout fishing at the nearby Zia Lake with a permit.
Unique Attractions: Annual Feast Day Corn Dances, Tribal Museum, Zia Lake, Zia Cultural Center
Nearby Locations: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Cabezón, Corrales, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Rio Rancho, Santa Ana Pueblo, Santa Ana Star Casino
Zia Pueblo, located 17 miles (27 km.) northwest of Bernalillo and eight miles northwest of Santa Ana Pueblo on U.S. 550, is open during daylight hours only.