The native Americans pass these apartments down through the generations. They are over 1000 years old and the oldest continuously inhabited homes. They don’t have electricity or running water. They’re adobe and require upkeep with more adobe added. When I was there I saw a bunch of guys working on their houses. As I was walking out I asked one guy if I could take a picture and he said no. I said ok and went on.
It seemed unfriendly to me because people often take my picture when I’m drawing in Plein air. They don’t always ask permission but I don’t really care.
There’s only about 50 people living there full time. The other pueblo owners come back for feast days and pow wows, Catholic and Native American celebrations.
San Geronimo church / Catholic / built in 1850.
The guide said they also practice their native religion but she was not to talk about it. I guess they don’t want to spend the time on that subject.
This is Red Willow Creek which is their water supply. They go to the creek for drinking water, cooking, washing, and I saw guys getting water from the creek to mix their adobe. It’s fed by their sacred lake which was confiscated by the US government for a national park and then returned to them by Richard Nixon. They own thousands of acres besides the pueblo. They call themselves a sovereign nation but they pay taxes to the US.
This is the ruin of their original church that they were forced to build by the Spanish Conquistadors. Built in 1619 and destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo revolt when the natives drove the Spanish back into Mexico. It was rebuilt and destroyed again by the US cavalry in the 1847 Taos revolt. When the cavalry bombed it there were 150 women and children inside that got killed.
Before the Spanish came they didn’t have doors or windows on their pueblos for safety reasons, as protection from other raiding tribes. They went in and out through the roof.
When I pulled into Taos yesterday around 9:30 AM I ran into a traffic jam. After I checked into my motel I sent my daughter a text saying I made it to Taos. Then went back to see the pueblos but couldn’t get in because their wifi was down. They have wifi where they collect the entry fees. ($16). I planned to go back today but didn’t take my sketchbook because this is a one time visit for me.
I got a National park pass with unlimited visits for a year for $20 and got my money’s worth out of that at the sand dunes going in and out for 3 days, so the $16 per visit seems too expensive to me.
When I got into my motel the wifi was off over the whole town and Verizon was off too, so there was no communicating with the rest of the world all day.
I drove up and down through the traffic a few times. Too many people shopping. It’s a tourist trap for sure. I couldn’t find a parking spot, gave up on shopping and came back to the motel and read my daughter, Sarah’s manuscript all afternoon which is a real page turner and I’m sure it will get picked up by a publisher.
This afternoon I’ll go to the Taos art museum. Maybe I can get another post done before I go to the Ghost Ranch tomorrow. I don’t know if they’ll have a cell phone signal at the Ghost Ranch. I read where it’s spotty up there for wifi too but they have it in the main lodge.