Scenic USA - New Mexico
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
A string of Indian villages follow the Rio Grande from Albuquerque to Taos, with most dating back hundreds of years before the arrival of the first Spanish explorers. Surviving hardships and heavy influences brought on by Spanish rulers, today's pueblo culture plays a significant role in New Mexico's character and area tourism.
One of the most northern Indian pueblos relays an oral history of nearly a thousand years and appears today much as they had when the Spanish arrived in 1540. Considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, the Taos Pueblo is the only Native American community to bear both the World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark designations.
Built entirely of adobe, a mixture of clay earth and straw, the pueblo's multi storied homes have captivated artists and photographers since the early 1900s when an artist colony was formed in the nearby city of Taos. Choosing to adhere to ancient customs and traditions, a few hundred residents continue to live in the pueblo full time. Village members still speak in their native Tiwa language, shun electricity and indoor plumbing, and continue to produce beautiful handcrafted pottery and jewelry. Bread is still baked in traditional earthen ovens (hornos) and villagers still count on the clear running waters from the Rio Pueblo de Taos for their drinking water.
Taos Pueblo is open to tourists most of the year, but closes to the public during religious ceremonies. The Taos Pueblo charges admission fees and additional permits are required for photographers and artists. Guests may be invited to view certain ceremonial dances held throughout the year. And all visitors are expected to follow area signage and respect the privacy of Taos residents.
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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