The leaders of a Pueblo Indian community in New Mexico have banned trick-or-treating on tribal land, saying costumed children on the streets this Halloween will be sent home because the practice runs counter to tribal culture.
Jemez Pueblo Gov. Joshua Madalena also said a gruesome killing last month involving two young men has led the community to realize it needs to stay in touch with its youth.
He told The Associated Press the Sept. 29 stabbing death of tribal member Matthew Panana affected the whole community, although he also said he had been discussing the trick-or-treat ban with the Jemez Tribal Council, public safety officials and pueblo elders for months.
Federal investigators have said Panana was killed after knocking continuously on the window of Lucas Toledo's Jemez Pueblo home.
A criminal complaint alleges Toledo, who had been trying to sleep, stabbed Panana with a box-cutter razor and a kitchen knife before repeatedly hitting him with a shovel, stabbing his face and slashing his throat and abdomen. Toledo also is accused of pulling out Panana's entrails, then throwing some on Panana's body and wrapping others around his neck.
Toledo, 22, faces a murder charge in Panana's death.
"The killing itself was a rude awakening for the tribe to see that anything can happen on our pueblo," Madalena said.
Trick-or-treating, which has been common on the 2,000-member pueblo northwest of Albuquerque for years, also doesn't fit with efforts to preserve traditions and it's dangerous for children to walk around badly lit, unpaved roads at night, Madalena said.
"We want to continue to promote our traditional way of life in Jemez Pueblo," Madalena told the Albuquerque Journal. "Our day is All Souls Day ... where we pay tribute to our ancestors and our families that have passed on to the other world and ask them to continue to bless us."
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com