Amazing Pics: Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest

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The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s 8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest is its most successful to date, with more than 70 submissions by adults and children.

The contest was judged last week by prominent Pueblo artists and elders, as well as leaders from the Albuquerque community. Winners in both Adult and Children’s categories will be announced on December 14, with a combined $2,500 in prizes to be awarded.

Though the formal and initial voting process is complete, the public is welcome to visit the East Lobby of the IPCC, 2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque and vote for their People’s Choice Award favorites through January 3. The People’s Choice Award is sponsored by Isleta Resort and Casino. Winners will be announced on January 5.

The prizes and categories are as follows:

Prizes – Adult Category:
• 1st: $650
• 2nd: $400
• 3rd: $250
• People’s Choice: $500

Prizes – Children’s Category:
• 1st: $250
• 2nd: $150
• 3rd: $100
• People’s Choice: $200

Children and adults were welcome to submit a creation inspired by a Pueblo village, house, community, church, or historic building. Each structure must be entirely edible.

Many participants used classic gingerbread to depict adobe and white icing for snow. Others used a range of snacks, including caramels for luminaria, (glowing brown sacks that decorate and illuminate walkways, and home pathways each holiday season) pretzels for ladders, and cookies for vigas (wooden beams characteristic of older traditional adobe construction.)

Here are some of this years submissions, courtesy of the IPCC:

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Colorful adornments included candy for “ristras” (strung pods of dried red chiles) and other architectural elements.

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

The largest entry has cliff dwellings built into a wall of solid dough.

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Another entry has a small multi-story adobe dwelling centerpiece in a hand-painted edible bowl.

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

“Each year we’re amazed at the creativity expressed through the gingerbread houses we receive,” Monique Fragua (Jemez), IPCC Museum Director said in a press release. “It’s become a tradition that encourages both children and adults to learn about our Puebloan architecture, from cliff dwellings to missions and modern churches. At the same time, individuals are able to express their own original ideas and their take on these structures. The results are always impressive and this year is no exception!”

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC)

The 8th Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest is just one of many events at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center this holiday season. Families are invited to the last of the Stories by the Fireside this Saturday, December 17, from 5 to 6 pm. Children can listen to tales told by Pueblo elders and community members while gathered around the fire in the courtyard. The IPCC’s Pueblo Harvest Cafe will offer hot chocolate for sale.

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a world-class museum and cultural center located in Albuquerque’s historic Indian School District. Founded in 1976 by the 19 Pueblo Indian Tribes of New Mexico, the IPCC’s stated mission is to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and to advance understand by presenting the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico with dignity and respect.

To learn more, please visit www.indianpueblo.org and www.facebook.com/IndianPueblo.

Follow ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter at www.twitter.com/IconicImagery