Time Travel to Taos(2)-Taos Pueblo

Day 2 (2)

After the walk in Taos Plaza, there was a group tour for bird watching. It was inspiring to see how enthusiastic the guide was about birds around the area. Although I still do not know much about birds, I enjoyed walking in the nature where it’s not too tainted by a bunch of tourists in Fred Beca Park.

Day 3 (1)

Luckily, we managed to reserve the most popular group tour on that day. It was the tour to the most famous tourist spots around the area: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Millicent Rogers Museum and Taos Pueblo. As it was quite a tight schedule, the group tour gave us lunch boxes and had to eat lunch in the van. The first destination was Taos Pueblo and the young native American was our guide to tell history of pueblo.

 

This is the typical adobe houses in the pueblo. Now some houses are selling hand-made ornaments to visitors. About 150 people currently live full time at the Pueblo, also known as the village, in buildings made of adobe (bricks constructed of mud and straw.) There is no electricity or running water and wood stoves are used for cooking and heat. Outdoor ovens, called hornos, are used for cooking and baking especially the delicious bread sold at the Pueblo and local farmers’ markets. Although they know it’s not modern way of living, but they want to keep their diminishing culture as much as possible. For example, they speak the language called ‘Tiwa’ and they delivered the language from generation to generation only by speaking since it’s unwritten language.

saint geronimo

<At the cemetry in San Geronimo Church>

It is difficult to listen to the history of the Pueblo without feeling a sense of sadness at how the people were treated. At first, visitors were welcomed and treated with kindness from the tribal members. They were repaid by being forced to convert from their native religion to Catholicism and slavery in 1619 under the guise of being “civilized”. They revolted in 1680, won, and lived peacefully until the Spanish regained control in the 1700s. This lasted until 1847 where, by now, the United States was in charge. A man named Charles Bent governed the territory, now known as Arizona and New Mexico, in the midst of the US war with Mexico. According to our tour guide, Northern New Mexico was a bit cut off from Mexico and the United States. In an effort to gain independence from both governments people from the town of Taos and from the Pueblo teamed up and killed Governor Bent. The US government retaliated by rounding up and killing the leaders of the Pueblo.  Many of the tribal members fled to what they thought to be safety by inhabiting the original Catholic Church built in 1619. The US soldiers burned down the Church killing a majority of the people.

 

the dog

Watching all these sad history and a lot of crosses at the cemetery made me sad but this dog was friendly to us and followed our way during the tour in the pueblo. Despite this gruesome history, I was impressed that how Taos people are so kind and generous and willing to share their cultures with Americans and foreigners.

 

center pueblo

This is the signature building in Taos Pueblo. I believe many adobe houses in Taos Plaza were inspired by this building. Look at all the blue color doors! It is said to be the oldest America’s oldest apartment complex. It is made up of individual homes that were built side-by-side and stacked in floors, one atop another. Walls are shared but each dwelling is a separate home with a private entrance.It must haven taken a lot of effort to keep it for 1,000 years so well.

creek

This is a creek crossing the pueblo. It is a main source for water and washing their clothes for a thousand years. People in the pueblo have been changed constantly but the creek remains always constant contemplating the ups and downs in pueblo.

 

dog2

Another dog in Pueblo. Actually, there were a lot of dogs in Pueblo other than the two dogs showed in my blog. They are not like pet dogs. They don’t have their owners.They are stray dogs within the pueblo. What a free spirit they have!

 

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