2007 WINNER, ART BOOK, INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARDS
2005 TWITCHELL HISTORY AWARD
2004 SOUTHWEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR/TUCSON
2004 FINALIST ARTS BOOK, BEST BOOKS USA BOOK NEWS
Ranked as the 3rd Most Popular Hispanic-American History Book, 19th Most Popular Native American, and 44th Most Popular Religious Book on Amazon.com (11/27/2008)
WINNER, 2008 NEW MEXICO BOOK AWARDS
Saints of the Pueblos is an exploration of the connections between Hispanic and Pueblo cultures — delving into the Hispanic devotional images of saints and Pueblo pottery traditions. Each of the nineteen active pueblos is represented with a retablo created by Charlie Carrillo of its patron saint in the style of that pueblo. Four additional "lost" pueblos are also represented. Although Charlie Carrillo is known for his santos of New Mexico, he has done extensive research into the archaeology and pottery traditions of the region. Charlie’s interests in santos and pottery are the genesis of this book and the exhibit of the same name at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. This book proves that these cultures are indeed intertwined.
Each image is supported by research about the history of the mission church, the patron saint, and the historic pottery of that pueblo. Historic photographs are included of the Spanish missions at each pueblo.
This collection of retablos and pottery is supported with essays — by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Director Ron Solimon, and pueblo historian Joe Sando — which explore the love of the art and these cultures.
Winner of the Twitchell History Award among other honors, Saints of the Pueblos is a wonderful testimony to the influence that the images of saints have upon Pueblo pottery traditions - a unique melding of Hispanic and Pueblo cultures. Each of the nineteen active pueblos is represented with a retablo as created by author Charlie Carrillo of its patron saint, in the style of the pueblo. Four additional, ancestral pueblos are also represented. The colorful imagery, interspersed with black-and-white photography and thoughtful text about the history of each pueblo and its art makes Saints of the Pueblos a distinguished, viscerally visual exploration of how Catholicism and Pueblo culture are inextricably interwoven. A welcome addition to Native American art studies shelves. -- Midwest Book Review, August 2008
SAINTS OF THE PUEBLOS NAMED BEST BOOKS 2004 WINNER Saints of the Pueblos by Charlie Carrillo has been selected as "Best Books 2004" Art Book Winner by USA BOOK NEWS. "Saints of the Pueblos offers readers a glimpse into the rich Hispanic and Native American art and history of the Mission Pueblos of the Southwestern United States. A beautiful full color title that you will want to keep in your permanent library." -- USABookNews.com
There are 19 pueblos scattered throughout New Mexico, each with its own culture and traditions. To put all of this history together into one book seems a monumental task, yet Dr. Charles M. Carillo has accomplished it with great finesse in his book, Saints of the Pueblos.
This is no ordinary book. The concept behind it is phenomenal. The author first created authentically made Retablos for each pueblo, depicting their patron saint along with their symbols, as well as an example of the pottery created at the pueblo during the time of the Catholic missions. The design of each Retablo is reminiscent of the pueblo itself, and therefore, no two are alike.
Retablos are wooden panels generally created by Hispanic artists that represent the saints. This artwork by itself demonstrates the combined history between the pueblos and the Spanish Catholics of New Mexico. Yet, Dr. Carrillo has taken it a step further. In the book, he discusses the saints of each pueblo, their pottery styles, the history of their missions, or churches, it's saints and feast days, and gives a little history of the pueblo and it's people. There are many illustrations of pottery, missions, historical sites, and even a map of the pueblos. The book also includes information on four abandoned pueblos that are now in ruins, the most notable of which are the three sites at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
New Mexico is a conglomeration of people living together with a shared history, and nowhere is it more evident than in this book. Written to help to preserve pueblo history, it has done even more. It speaks of the mingling of spiritual forces that have brought the people of this state together, and still holds them together. It celebrates the life that continues in the pueblos, honoring that sharing of history. It demonstrates the artwork of the people of this region, bringing together Catholicism, and Native works. This book is valuable source for New Mexico Native history, as well as that of their Catholic counterparts.
This book is published by LPD Press, right here in New Mexico, and they have done an outstanding job of presenting this work of art in book form. I highly recommend this book for its artwork, its history lessons, and for its sheer creativity and genius. I could offer no higher praise.-- BellaOnline.com, August 9, 2007
Carrillo provides brief historical background on each pueblo and its patron saints and then describes the salient characteristics of the pottery produced at the pueblo. His insights into this subject are thoughtful and provocative. The book serves as a poignant and useful reminder of the Catholic traditions of the Pueblo Indians meshed as they are in subtle ways with traditional indigenous spiritual practices. The book is attractively designed and produced. -- William Wroth, New Mexico Historical Review, Winter 2006
Carrillo's book is about the Pueblo Indians' devotion to maintaining their religious connections through the saints introduced to them by Hispano settlers nearly four hundred years ago. Colorfully illustrated, this little book is a treasure trove about the New Mexico pueblos with quick references to their histories, their patron saints, and the attendant feast day of each one. It is recommended for researchers, writers, tourists, and students of religious art. -- Colonial Latin American Historical Review, Winter 2004
This book documents the Pueblo Patron Saints in the pottery traditions that made them famous. In addition to the 19 New Mexican Pueblos there are abandoned pueblos featured in the book. This book pictures all of the Patron Saints, the pottery of the Pueblos, a map and the explanation behind the paintings. This is the first book to bridge the two major cultures of New Mexico — Native American and Hispanic. -- People of God August 2004
Saints of the Pueblos by Dr. Charles M. Carrillo will become a treasure for readers whose interests are the Pueblo and Hispanic cultures and arts of New Mexico. Carrillo combines the Catholic saint of a pueblo and design elements from that Pueblos early pottery and creates a unique retablo. Every Pueblo and the four abandoned Pueblos are honored with their own piece. The Indian Pueblo Culture Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico will host the opening of the exhibit. Saints of the Pueblos has beautiful color photographs of each retablo, pictures of the pottery, and black and white photographs from some of the Pueblos. I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing the exhibit in August 2004. Museums across the country should consider inquiring about having this exhibit. -- Reviewers Consortium, August 2004
In Saints of the Pueblos, prizewinning santero Dr. Charles Carrillo combines artistic tradition with historical research to create a visual testament to the role patron saints have played in linking New Mexico's Hispanic and Pueblo cultures. This is the first time Hispanic New Mexican retablos have been used to represent the patron saints of the Land of Enchantment's 19 active pueblos along with their pottery styles. -- Santa Fean magazine, August 2004
Just in time for Spanish Market are two books that underscore the importance of faith and family in the creation of sacred art.
Writing alone, Carrillo has put together another book, Saints of the Pueblos, which takes each of New Mexico’s Indian pueblos and shows their relationship to a particular Catholic saint. For those who can’t understand the close connection between the Pueblo people and the Catholic Church despite the conflicts of the past, this book is a must-read. As Archbishop Michael Sheehan writes, "it has been said the Pueblo Indians oftentimes keep the traditions of the Spanish settlers more faithfully than the descendants of the settlers. Certainly this is the case it seems to me, in the devotion that the Pueblo Indians have for the patron saints of each pueblo."
The book stemmed from a show in 2003 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque that focused on Carrillo- created retablos of each saint from New Mexico's 19-pueblos. Carrillo writes that the show was "a great success," with many people commenting that the show would make a great book.
Taking each pueblo one at a time, Carrillo writes an essay about the saint to accompany his retablo, placing a piece of the pueblo's pottery in the mix as well.
"My doctoral research in archaeology concentrated on historic pottery," Carrillo writes. "Therefore, I have a keen interest in the historic ceramic traditions of the pueblos. Each retablo is painted with historic pottery designs and elements associated with that pueblo. The elements I have incorporated in the retablos are influenced by actual pieces of pueblo pottery dating from 1600 to 1900." This book displays once again the complexities of faith and community in New Mexico.
In a moving foreword to the book, Ron Solimon of the pueblo cultural center writes, "some of my fondest childhood memories are of my service to the Church as an altar boy in my beloved village of Encinal at the Pueblo of Laguna. I can still smell the incense and feel the hot candle wax dripping onto my hands as I assisted the padre with Stations of the Cross during the Lenten season." Physical depictions of the saints, Solimon writes, help him focus on the Creator and his teachings.
When I first saw Charlie Carrillo's work, I felt an immediate warmth - a spiritual warmth ... It is our common desire that somehow our native and Hispanic peoples will recommit to the path of reconciliation and forgiveness that Our Savior and his early followers set-out on over two thousand years ago." Faith, once again is foremost.
His book, Carrillo says, is designed to celebrate "the saints of the pueblos and the pueblo peoples whose goodness and devotion has kept the special feast days of the saints alive for the past four centuries." -- Inez Russell, The New Mexican
Charles M. Carrillo
Dr. Charles M. Carrillo is a scholar, teacher, and lecturer, as well as an artist. He has been a participant at Spanish Market in Santa Fe for over twenty years and has won numerous awards. His work is exhibited in many major museums including The Heard Museum, Denver Art Museum, Regis University, Albuquerque Museum, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and the Smithsonian. He is the author of Hispanic New Mexican Pottery (1996) and A Tapestry of Kinship (co-authored with José Antonio Esquibel, 2004); he has also written many articles on New Mexico art and culture. Carrillo earned his doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the University of New Mexico’s Religious Studies Program. A book on Carrillo and his art, Charlie Carrillo: Tradition & Soul, was published by LPD Press in 1994. The first Santos of the Pueblos exhibit at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in 2003 was so popular that an expanded version of the show was installed in its new gallery in 2004. Carrillo lives in Santa Fe with his wife Debbie, who is an award-winning potter, and their two children, Estrellita and Roán, who have also won awards for their santos.