Or Taos Pueblo, as it is most commonly known to non-Taos speakers. One of the most private, secretive communities, protective of their native culture and customs, so much so, that very little is known about their native ceremonial rituals to the outside world.
A village where homes are built entirely out of earth and straw, water and wood, stacked up to six storeys high so that one house’s roof becomes another’s floor or terrace, both depending on each other and being completely independent, since there are no internal doors connecting them. And, true to tradition, no electricity or running water is allowed inside.
A people balancing between their native religious traditions and Catholicism and being highly secretive of both, so no photography is allowed inside the Spanish colonial church of San Geronymo, the courtyard of which is the starting point of our guided tour of the village.
And certainly no outsiders’ presence is welcome in the native religious ceremonies and rituals that take place around the Blue Lake, or Ba Yhyea, an ancient sacred site for the Taos Pueblo community, hidden in the mountains we see rising beyond the village.
Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.
Taos Pueblo, NM
April 28th, 2019