In 1598, Don Juan de Onate and his expedition arrived at the junction of the Chama and the Rio Grande Rivers in what is now central New Mexico. There he found an Indian pueblo which he renamed San Juan de los Caballeros. Since then the pueblo has kept its official Spanish name, but in the Tewa language it has always been referred to as 0ke.
San Juan, located on a high semi-arid plateau, is the largest and northernmost of six Tewa-speaking villages in the upper Rio Grande Valley just north of Santa Fe. The population during the early 1920s was about 500, but now boasts well over 1700.
In an area inhabited for nearly 700 years the houses in the center of San Juan are constructed of adobe. In recent years, however, members have built more modern houses farther away from the village center on reservation lands that span over 12,000 acres.
Because it is located near two rivers, San Juan has easy access to water for its irrigation ditches. For centuries, this has made agriculture possible for the inhabitants of the pueblo, and has provided corn for their staple food.