Darlene Foster's Blog

Taos Pueblo

Posted on: May 23, 2014

I need to tell you more about  Taos Pueblo as I was so enthralled by my recent visit. It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Taos Pueblo with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background

Taos Pueblo with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background

Approximately 150 people live within the Pueblo full time. The buildings are made entirely out of adobe, with no electricity or running water in the sacred village. Wood stoves and fireplaces warm the homes and are used for cooking. Bread and pastries are baked in a horno, an outdoor adobe oven. We purchased cookies and pie made in a horno and they were delicious. We also had fry bread made in front of us, drizzled with honey which was also very tasty.

Horno - outdoor adobe oven

Typical horno, an outdoor adobe oven

The Pueblo is situated on both sides of the Red Willow Creek which is the source of drinking water for the natives. One resident told us that a legend tells of an eagle that dropped two feathers, one on each side of the river which was a sign for the ancient people to build the Pueblo at that spot.

Red Willow Creek

The Red Willow Creek

Adobe homes

Adobe homes

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Welcoming fireplace inside an adobe home

Welcoming fireplace inside an adobe home

Many of the homes are inhabited by native artists who welcome visitors to enter their homes, view their art work, chat and make purchases. We bought a number of handmade items to take back home as gifts (and a couple of items for ourselves.) We met some very nice people. Everyone was willing to take time to talk to us. I love getting to know  local artists when I travel and to support them when I can.

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exquisite artwork

exquisite artwork

One amazing artist we met was Jeralyn Lujan Lucero, painter, potter, soap maker; to name a few of her many talents. But she tells us her most important job is that of mom to her three children. Jeralyn and her husband are raising their children in their ancestral home, living a traditional Pueblo life. From her website, It may not be possible to take Taos Pueblo with you, but owning an image created by Jeralyn Lujan Lucero is possibly one way to take the spirit of Taos with you.” I am happy to have the spirit of Taos, via an art card signed by this talented woman, in my home.

Feast Day at Taos Pueblo, Gathering Flowers by Jeralyn Lujan Lucero

Feast Day at Taos Pueblo, Gathering Flowers by Jeralyn Lujan Lucero

The modern day San Geronimo Church, built in 1850, is a Registered National Historic Landmark and is used by the mostly Catholic inhabitants of Taos Pueblo. It is made of thick adobe walls, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.

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The ruins of the original San Geronimo Church, built in 1619 and destroyed in 1847 during an uprising are now part of the cemetery. All that remains is the bell tower in memory of those who lost their lives.

Original San Geronimo Church and cemetery

Original San Geronimo Church and cemetery

This high desert oasis has so much history, culture and spirit, drawn from the past and continuing to this day. I left with a feeling of peace and tranquillity and much respect for the native people.

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I will leave you with the Tribal Manifesto:

“We have lived upon this land from days beyond history’s records, far past any living memory, deep into the time of legend. The story of my people and the story of this place are one single story. No Man can think of us without thinking of this place. We are always joined together.”

 

 

35 Responses to "Taos Pueblo"

Thank you for sharing this Darlene, I found it absolutely fascinating. I also enjoy all your photos.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was fascinating.

It has been about 20 years since I was there. I love it.

I’m so glad I finally made it there as it has been on my list for some time.

I love just about all things Southwest. I have never been to Taos. Thank you for the views and stories of the Pueblo, horno and the artists. “Morning Talk” seems like such a delightful place.

“Morning Talk” was wonderful. I bought a fabulous piece of pottery for my potter daughter there. The Southwest is amazing. Pleased you could visit Taos through me.

I don’t know anything about Taos or the southwest. This is most informative. I like the art with the deep, vibrant colors. I understand so much more when I have a presentation with pictures. Not quite being there but second best. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

Happy to introduce you to this wonderful place. I too prefer a presentation with pictures.

Visuals and eye-hand co-ordination is all I have to help me learn these days. Ha ha.

I remember being fascinated by Navajos in junior high and wrote a report about their culture. Thanks for the pictorial travelogue, Darlene.

Thanks Marian. There is so much to be learned about the Native American and First Nations culture. The more I learn, the more I am intrigued.

When I was younger, I visited about 40 of the US States, but never made it to the desert SW. Your painted picture reminds us that, although we have our sights set these days on travel to other continents, there is much to be seen and savoured in our own North America. And you always savour your travels in a way that triggers my own Pavlovian response! Thanks.

I guess because I am looking at spending more time in Europe, I feel the need to explore a bit more of North America right now. Taos has been on my list of places to see for some time.

This is a great post! I love that artist are living the adobe huts. I would love to visit Taos. Made it to Mesa Verde as a kid traveling to national parks with my family. You really took some great photos.

Thanks Patricia. I hope you get to visit Taos one day as you will not be disappointed. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

I learn so much from your blog Darlene! You visit some fascinating places! Great post!

I have been lucky to visit some interesting and unique places. I’m pleased you have learned about some different places through my blog. Thanks for your support.

So many fascinating places to visit.

Yes, so many places, so little time. I’m please I carved out some time for this place.

What a great place to visit. I loved this story. And the art is so deep in colour. Wonderful piece, Darlene.

Thanks so much, pleased you enjoyed it. The art was amazing and the place good for your soul.

I was a little girl when I first visited the Taos Pueblo, and then I took my own daughter, who now takes her children. Taos is a vivid reminder of many valuable lessons.
Did you also go to the nearby D.H. Lawrence ranch that now has cabins for writers? There’s a big gnarly tree near the main house that has a framed, air-tight picture attached to the trunk at the same angle looking up at the branches as the painting that is copied in the picture by Georgia O’Keefe.
Taos is a surprising blend of cultures and creativity.

I love that generations of your family have enjoyed Taos. The D.H. Lawrence ranch was not open to the public so we didn’t drive out there. We did visit the Mabel Dodge Luhan house where D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and many others spent time.Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Marylin.

It looks like a great place! 😀

It’s so true that the people and the land go hand in hand, Love post and great pictures.

Thanks for your wonderful comment. Glad you enjoyed the post and pictures.

Very interesting post, something new and nice text! Bye. Kamila

Thanks for visiting my blog Kamila! So pleased you enjoyed the post.

What an interesting history – this is someplace I’d like to visit. Great post Darlene!

You would love it Megan! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Darlene, the treats made in the horno sound tempting, especially the bread drizzled in honey! I would’ve loved to have visited Taos when we stopped in to Santa Fe two summers ago. Fascinating history there, and love the architecture too.

If you ever get back to that part of the world, you should visit Taos as you would love it! It took me a long time to finally make it there and I’m so glad I did.

Darlene this is a fascinating place. I am surprised at the people living there without the modern day conveniences we take so forgranted. I can understand why you would feel so peaceful after having visited.

It was amamzing. Everyone seemed so peaceful and happy there as well.

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