Thursday, March 17, 2016

Taos Pueblo in December

Beauty Way
Today my heart will have harmony;
My spirit singing the songs of happiness.
My mind will seek balance, one with Mother Earth and the Creator.
My eyes will look for good and there I will find it.
My mouth will whisper the words of gratitude.
Today I will walk the beauty way.
~ Howard T. Rainer

Pueblo de Taos
The Red Willow People

This incredible place has been inhabited for the last thousand years, the longest continuously inherited community in the United States, by the Tiwa people. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and on the National Register of Historic Places and Saint Jerome Church, a Nation Historic Landmark. And along with the San Francisco de Asis Church, I couldn't leave New Mexico without seeing it.

There is a 16 dollar entrance fee, and then my sister and I also had a guide that lives there take us around and talk to us about the Pueblo. Tours start every 20 minutes and I think it is a must, if you can go. You don't pay the guide up front, but you give them a tip after. They are giving their time so try to be generous. Also, many are students.

Our guide was very nice and open to any questions we had about the community. You can take pictures, but not of tribal members without permission. It is a living community. (You can read about the etiquette on the website.)

Only a few families live in the pueblo full time, (about 150 people) but about 1,900 of the Red Willow people live on Taos Pueblo lands.

A short intro ...

There were not many visitors that Monday in December but there were a few tribal members selling their jewelry and art. Above, in the second photo, you can see the huge dream catcher and my sister bought a gorgeous turquoise necklace, from a lovely young jewelry maker, who was also a sculptor of clay.

It was afternoon and the light could not have been more beautiful. You might recognize the San Geronimo Chapel, below, and other sites from Ansel Adams photos. (His first book of published photos was Taos Pueblo , in 1930.) 

You cannot photograph inside the church, but my mom sat in there for quite a while we did the tour, to rest from the altitude. It happens that they were decorating for Christmas and my mom started chatting with two men who were tribal members and who were putting up the gold tinsel garland in the church. The men where pretty funny and joked about my mom telling them where to put the hanging garland so it wouldn't hit the Madonna as she was carried into the church.

San Geronimo de Taos

1,000 year old multi- home structure ... so beautiful. Some walls are several feet thick.

Taos Pueblo Round Dance Song ...

The young man who showed us around explained that there is no electricity or running water but they have propane and also use wood for fuel. He showed us an an outdoor bread oven they still use for bread for celebrations and events.

As you can see the structures are made of adobe bricks. See my previous New Mexico posts for more on traditional adobe architecture.


This beautiful Red Willow River, is their only source of drinking water.

Crossing the river ...

The color of the red willow was so beautiful ... and the snow against the adobe! I took a couple hundred photos, at least, so I can't wait to use them as reference to do some painting! It was magical and very peaceful.

Pueblo Peak in the distance ...

Found these 1920s 16mm "home movies" of the Taos Pueblo and other areas ...

We had big plans to take the scenic "high road" back but we realized the sun would be setting fast and it might snow again, so we decided to take the faster route back to Santa Fe. I was craving a green iced though and decided to ask Siri "where is the closest Starbucks?" In L.A. it's usually around the corner. In this neck of the woods? ...

An hour and 18 minutes. In Santa Fe.

We cracked up at that, and then we were off ...

For more information on the Taos Pueblo, visit their website here.
For additional information, you can go to the Wikipedia page here.

I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful-
an endless prospect of magic and wonder.
~Ansel Adams

Blessings and light!


Amanda Summer said...

The color of the sky in the desert southwest is a blue unlike anywhere else, and you capture it stunningly. Especially love the shot of the blue doors against the adobe walls beneath a cobalt sky.

Cristina Deboni said...

Un viaggio interessante vedere come vivono altre popolazioni!
Belle le foto! ciao Cri