Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico


 This Pueblo is inhabited by the Red Willow Indians and is known as the Taos Pueblo.


This is only a portion of the main northern structure, which has been inhabited continuously for over 1,000 years.  Some of the homes have been converted into shops for tourist trade while others are still used as homes.  There is a restriction on electricity or running water within the village.  Homes have little fireplaces and some have wood stoves for heating or cooking.  The walls are at least a foot thick and keep the inside cool in summer and warmer in winter.  A large quantity of homes are in this complex - homes are built side by side, sharing common walls, ceilings, etc.  Individual homes are anywhere from 1 to 3 rooms.

The construction is adobe brick, which consists of dirt, straw and water formed into bricks.  They are dried and then stacked with more adobe mixture between them.  The structure is then plastered with more adobe mixture.  As it ages, the straw shows through.

The majority of the population is Catholic, but the native culture and way of life is evident in the total population. 

The photo below is a shot of a couple Kivas, which are their sacred religious shrines.  This area is off limits to visitors, and they are underground, with sticks marking the entrance.
The photo below shows a typical house with the ladder to get to the roof and a bunch of dried chiles hanging on it.  Entrances were through a hole in the roof in the early days and ladders were needed to get inside.  In order to help protect themselves from invasion, they would just pull the ladder up on the roof.  

Most of the homes have only one oven, this one has two.  An oven is called horno and they are still used, especially for large quantities of food.  Wood is used to warm up the oven, then the food is put in.  The pieces of board in this photo just cover the opening.

The cemetery is sacred and no one is allowed to enter unless there is a funeral.  This is why it looks unkempt, they do not maintain it because they would have to enter it.  The ruins within the walls of the cemetery are the church that was damaged by US troops in the 1800s

This area was fascinating and I walked through the area at least twice.  They have several shops that open during the morning, with all sorts of goods for sale, including beautiful native pottery, jewelry, paintings.  There are also baked goods for sale, including fry bread, oven bread and cookies.  I had to try the fry bread, which was pretty good with cinnamon and sugar on it.

1 comment:

  1. Would have loved seeing this with you....great post.