Palace of the Governors

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Jewelry and Crafts in the Shade of Four Centuries
The entire north side of Santa Fe's downtown Plaza is taken up by the Palace of the Governors. Built in 1610, it's the oldest continually occupied public building in the United States. Its front adobe façade is completely shaded, and in this "Portal," the Native American Vendors Program has been operating for over six decades.

A daily lottery ensures a rotating selection of artisans from the various pueblos throughout New Mexico. Yes, there might be some "finer" pieces available in the chic boutiques elsewhere in Santa Fe, but here, in the shade of a four-century-old adobe building, you can meet the artists and even haggle a bit. Be respectful, though--these are not cheap trinkets made in a sweatshop abroad--the crafts and the jewelry are usually made by the person with whom you'll be conversing.

[An interesting side note: The Palace was taken over in 1680 and occupied by Native Americans during the Pueblo Revolt until 1692, when the Spaniards returned. This is the only government seat in the U.S. to have ever been taken over by Native Americans. It then served as the residence of the governor during the Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. territorial regimes, until 1907. In 1912, New Mexico became a U.S. state. Today, the Palace is a Museum.]
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Indian Vendors
Indian vendors sell their own products at the Palace of the Governors on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You don't have to worry whether the jewelry, etc. is genuine. It's rigidly controlled. It's not that way everywhere in Santa Fe. Vendors must be licensed to sell here, and competition for space is fierce.
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