Sunday, August 26, 2012

Taos Pueblo

The original plan for today was to just post the above picture for August Break. Then I happened to read Gina's blog this morning (btw, you should hop over there, she takes gorgeous photos) where she wrote about the story about the images. That inspired me to write a little bit more about this photo and actually add a whole lot more of images. Thank you, Gina!

All these photos were taken in Taos Pueblo at the very end of December 2009. We had spent a few days in Santa Fe and were on our way to Colorado to attend a friend's son's wedding. We still had a couple days before we were expected and since I always had wanted to visit Taos Pueblo we decided to do it now.

Taos Pueblo was built around 1450 AD and is today the largest existing multi-storied pueblo structure in the USA. About 1500 Taos Indians reside here. It is a tourist attraction, you have to pay to get in there and you can only take photos with a permit.

This is the first view of  the pueblo when you get in. Not much color, a bit sad - it didn't help either that it was very cold and overcast. I felt a bit uncomfortable walking around people's living space, I felt a bit like an intruder from a different world.

The gate to the church was decorated with the typical paper bags that you can find in Santa Fe around Christmas. I don't know whether these ones were also lit up when it got dark - by the shape of the paper bags I actually hope not.

The overall impression was a bit depressing and sad. I couldn't help compare these adobe buildings with our own way of living, so convenient with central heat, hot water and washing machines.

Just to give you an idea how cold it was:

There were dogs everywhere, and I'm not quite sure whether they had owners who cared for them or were stray ones. This little guy followed us for quite a while.

However, not everything was grey.

There were little shops in some of the adobe buildings, selling beautiful Native American jewelry and lovely colorful blankets. They always had a fire going in there and it was warm and cozy.

And the Taos Indians in here were very welcoming and friendly. They were eager to answer our questions, but were also curious where we came from (our German accent!) and wanted to know how we liked to live in the States. It changed my feeling about the entire place, I felt much more comfortable.

And finally even the sun ventured out of the clouds. At least a little bit. It lit up the place.

There were so many little details in the pueblo that I liked.


Interesting texture in the adobe could be seen everywhere.

And the dogs were pretty nifty in finding spaces to warm their bellies.

It was an interesting visit. I'm glad that I went to see Taos Pueblo and experience this kind of mood change during the visit. It's all about the people. We were lucky to have met very welcoming and friendly people. I am thankful for this.


Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great post. I really want to go visit now. Coincidentally, someone posted a picture of the very same ladder/stairway to the photo scavenger hunt I'm hosting this summer, and I just linked to it this morning. Eeerie!
I think my daughter would want to take every last one of those dogs home.

Marcie said...

WOW...what an incredible place. Love the colors of the adobe..and the sweet pups add just the right amount of life to the scenes. So glad you wrote about the images!!

windrock studio said...

Carola, I've always loved this part of the country. You managed to get good shots even in the cold and found a bit of color. Glad your visit got better by finding the interesting &
interested people ~ cute pups, too!

Jeanne said...

Carola this is such an interesting post. I am sure that it would be very discouraging to see this pueblo at first, and am so glad that you were able to find some artistic touches, color, and warmth in the people. Recently in this part of the country and do love the colors and warmth of the adobe. Thanks so much for sharing these great shots!

Randy said...

This is one of my most favorite places to visit. It does the soul good. I love you photos.

Kokopelli said...

Very interesting post and it was good that you wrote more about the photo and added some more pics. I always feel like an intruder, too, when I walk so closely through someone's living space. And I was also on the other side living in a tourist area. Not fun, if people intruded my space. Honestly the dogs look too good to be stray ones. And if you're interested look for the art of R. C. Gorman. He even painted a picture of the light bags on the church gate of Taos. I love his art and it looks so much like your photos.

Kokopelli said...

Sorry, it wasn't actually the church gate, but another gate/house entrance. Here is the link if you're interested:

Darla said...

I visited several years ago in the summer. I thought it was so interesting, look different with the snow.


Melissa said...

Hi Carola - thanks for stopping by my blog! I enjoyed reading about your visit to the Taos Pueblo as it does seem very different from our sunshiny day this past July. It was fun to see your photos of the place we just visited!

Lynn Cohen said...

This is a wonderful experience you share here. I think I would feel just as you did. What beauty you captured. We are going to stay at a B & B on an Lakota Indian reservation soon in So. Dakota. Look forward to taking wonderful photos too. ;-)

patty said...

Carola, I found the same thing. I really enjoyed poking my head into the little shops and speaking with the people. I ended up buying some small art pieces, which I hadn't planned on doing, but now I'm so glad I have these reminders of such an interesting place!

Deborah Tisch said...

I really appreciate these images, Carola. I was there in 1994 and took photos (film) but not nearly as many wonderful images as you have here.