Sunday, July 22, 2012

Taos Pueblo

I spent most of last month visiting friends in Albuquerque and Taos. The most memorable event was a visit to the Taos Pueblo, which has been in existence for about a thousand years, making it perhaps the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.

Taos Pueblo with Red Willow Creek in foreground.

Most New Mexico Indians are Catholics since the Spanish occupation.

Doors and windows were introduced after the Spanish intervention. Originally the rooms were entered via a system of ladders on the rooftops dropping into holes in the ceiling. The entire complex thus functioned as a fortress against raids from other tribes. Today the pueblo is, as we were told, inhabited mainly by young men who must spend a year of residence there in the interest of tribal solidarity.

Taos Pueblo lies at the base of a holy mountain entered by the cleft in the center of this picture. Red Willow Creek flows through it down to the Pueblo.


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