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SAN ILDEFONSO PUEBLO PARTY
Los Alamos (December 1945)
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San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

A special 1995 issue of the monthly publication of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, "Dateline: Los Alamos," described the party this way: 

"On a cold December night in 1945, the San Ildefonso Pueblo, a tribe of Native Americans living next to Los Alamos, invited a group of Los Alamos square dancers to their pueblo for an evening of fun and entertainment. The two communities had seen a lot of each other during the war as men and women from the pueblo commuted daily to work at Los Alamos. The association produced a cross fertilization of cultures.  

"Bernice Brode wrote: 'Some of us had more Indian crafts in our Army apartments than the Indians had in their homes, (and) modern American conveniences such as refrigerators and linoleum began cropping up in the pueblo.' At the dance, the Indians performed for the square dancers and the square dancers performed for the Indians. After the demonstrations, members from the two groups began dancing with each other. Charlie Masters, a teacher at the Los Alamos school, wrote: 'This fiesta-hoedown I like to remember as the climax of our relations with the natives.'

"The square dancers took cookies, soft drinks, and sandwiches with them. San Ildefonsians supplied coffee, tamales, and luscious little dried fruit pies. Eleanor Jette wrote: 'During the first part of the program our group did exhibition square dances. Afterward, people from the pueblo took the floor. They danced 'fun dances' very different from the ritualized religious dances we saw when we visited the pueblo on its feast day.' Our Indian friends were a little hurt because our feet gave out. They always danced until sunrise. We went home around three o'clock.'"  

The photograph above, and additional photographs of the party below, are all reproduced from "Dateline: Los Alamos," 22.

San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

San Ildefonso Pueblo party, December 1945

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