I’m going to get finished, eventually! Sunday morning we said goodbye to the kids and headed to Taos. There was a Pueblo there that I wanted to see.
Since I had seen the cliff dwellings, I wanted to see the next step in the Pueblo story. The Taos Pueblo is considered the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. The main parts of the present buildings were constructed about 1,000 and 1,450 AD. About 150 people live full time in the Pueblo. Other families own homes in the North or South buildings but live elsewhere, near the farmlands. There are over 1,900 Taos Indians living on the Taos Pueblo lands.
The Navajo call the ancient ones “Anasazi,” which means “Ancient Enemy” – the Pueblos, themselves, call them ”Ancient Pueblos.” If you have heard of Anasazi beans, you will probably know that they were developed by the Ancients, either when living in the cliffs or living in the pueblos.
There seems to be not much difference in age between the cliff dwellings and some of the pueblos – from what I understand, some lived in the cliffs and some built the buildings. And some had buildings added onto the cliff homes.
Anyway, after seeing the cliff dwellings, I knew I had to continue my “voyage” into the past and see a Pueblo. Norm was very accommodating; we found a shady spot for Peanut, then found out that we could take her into the pueblo with us. There was a young man directing traffic into the parking lot; he was also keeping cars from going into the pueblo. People lined up to pay to go in – it took us 15 minutes to get to the “pay” window. They charged $5 per camera to allow you to take pictures. They were very explicit about not taking pictures of people unless you asked permission. The villagers were dressed in modern clothing, but they did all their craftwork by hand (at least in the public eye – I had one man tell me that he DID use power tools when he was away from the pueblo, in his own studio); there was one young lady who had a cell phone that kept beeping at her!
As we walked into the pueblo itself, there were villagers driving around, mostly in pickups – almost all of them had BIG shepherd-type dogs in the backs of the pickups. Most of them stayed out of the main area and just drove around the perimeter. There were also big dogs running around and I was a little nervous about them meeting Peanut, but they ignored most of the dogs that came in and they all stayed away from Peanut.
There were shops in homes, there were shops under shaded areas, there were shops everywhere. We saw awesome jewelry, beautiful pottery, lovely handcrafts everywhere!
I purchased a prayer bundle, made of sage, juniper berries and stasis that were harvested from the area. Norm got a blueberry pie (well, PART of a pie) that was baked in an outdoor oven. We got a pretty pot made with mica clay from the mountains.
Everyone was very pleasant and very happy to answer any questions I asked – except one man who was pretty grumpy, but maybe he hadn’t had his morning coffee yet!
After Norm dragged me out – I could have gone to more shops, seen more people – we headed “home.” We went through the Kit Carson National Forest, saw the Boy Scout area that my dad and brother had been to about 50 years ago, and saw more cool, awesome scenery.
After getting out of New Mexico and into Oklahoma, the scenery changed and we had flat dry country! And HOT!!! In one town we saw the thermometer at the bank read 99º!!! Not comfortable riding when there is no air conditioning in the car.
Which reminds me – do YOU know how to keep cool if you have no air conditioning in your car on a 99º day? I could write another post on that!
We drove through the top west corner of Oklahoma, into Kansas and stopped at Dodge City.
And THAT’s another story. Have a beautiful day!