Visit the culture of indigenous people - 3 : Taos Pueblo
(Taos, New Mexico, USA)
The mountains covered with green and partly white snow surround the basin. Those are not too nearly but not too far away and watch the village of Taos Pueblo, keeping a comfortable distance.
The mountain brings rich water. It turns into a stream called Red Willow Creek. The stream passes through the village squirting the water and moisturizes the farmland spreading around.
When visiting Taos Pueblo after having seen the country of Hopi, I am surprised by the difference in the atmosphere. It is a truly calm place.
However, for indigenous peoples, the landscape like an earthly paradise did not necessarily guarantee the peace of living there. If anything, it may be because here was an earthly paradise.
Apparently Taos Pueblo was once surrounded by a wall with 3 meters high. Not only it prepared for the raids of other tribes but also it was the place of "Pueblo's Rebellion" that the indigenous people upset against Spain's rule in 1680, and the siege attack by the US Army in 1847. In the attacks of the US military, although the wall prevented the rush, it ended with many dead and the destruction of the church where the ringleader entrenched himself. ( They denied the church in "Pueblo's Rebellion” but entrenched themselves in the reconstructed church. That seems to be the indigenous people 's mercy history.)
Now the fence wall is low. It reflects the calmness of the surrounding landscape, and the figure of the village that they must have originally imaged has appeared.
In the village divided into the south and the north across the stream, collective dwellings of up to four stories stand surrounding a large square which also serves as the stage of the festival. The form that several families live in the same building across the walls seems to symbolize the connection of the residents who have been run in the community called Taos Pueblo. It goes back from the 11th century to the 15th century. But, the dwellings doesn’t seem to be a modern architecture? .
In contrast with the interior finished white, the exterior appearance except the church is finished with reddish soil on the adobe which has been piled up. Since the residents take care of it every year, the surface shining delicately and bluntly is beautiful like a pottery before entering in the kiln.
For now, they go in and out from the door. Originally, in the lower part, only the hole opened on a roof was the unique entrance to the inside. Contrary to the friendly-natural impression, the village resisted by the fence wall then by the residence against enemies who broke the fence. It was the village created in consideration with a thorough defense. They entered from a roof until the beginning of the 20th century, so it is only recently that the fears of them who continued to live in this place had disappeared.
Ironically, as a result of being incorporated into the hostile American regime, the threat of the enemies has gone away from the current Taos Pueblo and calm has come. Now, it was registered as a World Heritage Site and comes to profit by sightseeing. Consequently, the decline is getting away as compared with other indigenous villages.
Nevertheless, the village has neither electricity nor water supply and water is drawn from Red Willow Creek. While a Catholic church stands facing to the square, they succeed various religious acts at Kivas, a site for ceremony, which is preserved in the area forbidden for tourists. Such a their life must be a quite fense to prevent from the silent penetration of Western civilizations that are invisible and becoming more intractable.
1 hour and 40 minutes by car from Santa Fe.
2 hours and 40 minutes by car from Albuquerque.
3 hours by bus Twin Hearts Express & Transportation from Albuquerque.
"Welcom to Taos Pueblo 'The Place of the Red Willows" (Taos Pueblo Tourism)
2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version
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