October 30th, 2010
The Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico has banned trick-or-treating on Halloween. The Tribe says it is a safety concern for children walking on unlit roads at night and that the holiday is not part of pueblo culture.
Pueblo leaders say anyone trick-or-treating on tribal land will be sent home, and suggest parents who want their children to participate take them elsewhere.
The idea of children racing from house to house in the dark has caused fears among local leaders because of the lack of street lights in the pueblo.
The community of about 2,500 lies in an area of mesas and red rocks an hour’s drive northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city. The tribe still deeply embraces its traditions, including preserving the Towa language that’s unique to Jemez and is spoken by more than 90 percent of its members.
The pueblo’s children have trick-or-treated for only a few decades, after the holiday was brought in by a family who had lived off Jemez land for many years.