Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 12 - Santa Fe, NM (Greg's Birthday!)

We had an amazing day to celebrate Greg’s birthday.  We went to the Taos Pueblo, getting there around 10am.  We got great parking which was important because it was a ceremonial day at the Pueblo.  They were doing their Corn Dance Ceremony.

Full view of city, mountains in background, "Taos Pueblo National Historic Landmark, New Mexico, 1941."

We did a tour of the pueblo.  The young man, Robert, I think, was a college student, studying civil engineering.  He took us around and showed us the pueblo.  I don’t have any pictures to share because we were not allowed to take pictures due to the ceremony.

The pueblo is amazing.  There are many, many pictures of it -- my favorites are by Ansel Adams who is a much better photographer than I am (the above is from the National Archives collection at Flickr)!  We shopped as we walked around the pueblo.  There were so many beautiful pieces of art.  We laughed -- everyone got something except Greg . . . Even though it was his birthday! (Greg did eventually get himself a gift . . . a very nice set of speakers for the FMC!)  Gage bought a bow and arrow -- purely decorative but really lovely.  Ruth got an ocarina -- native flute.  It was made of resin -- but it sounds lovely.  The woman running the shop works with Robert Mirabal who is a two time grammy award winning musician.  He makes lovely wooden flutes too.

At some point, we noticed a few men climbing to the top of the pueblo and then they started calling out.  There are two large pueblos at Taos -- one on each side of the river that runs through the village.  Men gathered on each of the pueblos, calling out in their language.  I imagine they were calling to the people of Taos to come and prepare to dance.

This lasted more than an hour.  The shops that were open started to close and the visitors started gathering together.  Eventually, the men came down from the rooftops and moved to in front of the church.  Men and women in their ceremonial regalia came out from the buildings and joined them there and they began to dance.

It was really beautiful and I strongly urge you to try to be at a Pueblo or attend a pow-wow in your local area if you get the chance.

We watched the dancing for awhile but it was nearly 3pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet.  We headed back to the car and went into the town of Taos.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed.  The town has been an artist’s colony since the early 1900s but the main part of the square is more like a tourist trap.  We found a great little cantina and had a good lunch -- but the shopping was disappointing.  I guess you have to know where to go.  We didn't and we were tired so we drove around and looked at the town and headed off again.

We headed back to Santa Fe -- tired but happy.  We rested a little and went to have a steak dinner to celebrate Greg’s birthday.  It was fantastic!

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