the wandering chick
...Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is considered the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. It is one of 19 pueblos in New Mexico.For more than a thousands years, the culture, religion, traditions and rituals of the natives have been passed down generation to generation. The language of the Native American people who live there is both unwritten and unrecorded.

The people of the pueblo have experienced timultous times over the years, including a revolt in 1680 when the pueblo people were forced into Catholicism. One hundred years later, another conflict occurred, this time with the U.S. government.

About 150 people live full-time on the pueblo. In keeping with their ancient culture, no water, plumbing or electricity are allowed in their homes. Cooking is done in adobe ovens outside their homes. Their water is manually transported from the Red Willow Creek which runs through the middle of the pueblo and physically divides two housing developments, the North Side and the South Side. Beside the 150, many live outside the walls of the pueblo, but still on pueblo land. Living outside the walls allows them to have modern conveniences.

Today, the people live peacefully on land that former President Richard Nixon granted back to them in 1970. Both Catholicism and the native religion are practiced there. A Catholic church holds mass on Sundays, and native religious rites are held in kivas.

Taos Pueblo is located just north of the city proper Taos. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

1000 years of tradition
taos pueblo
The adobe homes of the pueblo are made of a mixture of earth, straw and water. The three elements are formed into bricks, typically several feet thick, then sun-dried. After dry, the forms are stacked to create the homes, using the same mixture to bond them together. Yearly maintenance is required on adobe houses to fill in cracks and repair general wear. Usually it's done as a community effort in the summer. This structure on the North side of the river, called the Hlaauma is the largest multi-storied pueblo in existence today.
adobe homes
adobe homes
Taos pueblo
Taos pueblo, blue door
The Red Willow Creek is the main source of water for the pueblo residents. They use pails and pottery vessels to carry the water to their homes. The creek water comes from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the name of the creek comes from the red willows that line its banks.
Red Willow Creek
house with ladders
Pueblo home roofs are flat and supported with large timbers called vigas. Across the vigas are smaller poles called latillas. They are then covered with the adobe. At one time, the only entrance into a home was by a ladder to an opening in the roof. This not only offered them light into the adobe home, but also was a means of protection from intruders in that they could simply take the ladder away when threatened. Today, doors are used.
outside repair work beind done
homes and kivas
In an area where visitors are not allowed are two kivas used by the pueblo people for religious and ceremonial purposes.
outdoor adobe ovens
adobe homes
Food and especially bread are prepared in outdoor ovens called hornos. They are also used for cooking wild game and vegetables.
The inside of the homes are white-washed to keep them clean and bright.
pueblo chuch exterior
Made of thick adobe walls, the San Geronimo Church was built in 1850 and is one of the youngest structures in the village. Parts of the original building stand in what is now the cemetery. In 1847, there occurred the Taos Revolt when puebloans fought against the U.S. Government in its effort to occupy New Mexico land which, at the time, was owned by Mexico. The governor, Charles Bent, was killed and scalped. In retaliation, the U.S. Army destroyed the church, and some 150 Indians were killed.
Taos Pueblo church
cemetery and bell tower of original church
All that is left of the original San Geronimo Mission is the bell tower in its original location.
church crosses against sky
church window
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