Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, Black and White

american flag door taos pueblo 2
In addition to the nearly universal ladders, this home also sported a white door, in need of some paint, but festooned with the flag.

Taos Pueblo, btw, is a centuries-old Indian community. In many spots, it's amazingly preserved for buildings made, essentially, of mud. The descendants of the people who lived here 800 years ago live here now. It's not a reservation in the sense that they were forced onto this land after losing the war with the white men.

Taos Pueblo is a Unesco World Heritage site.

The homes and other buildings of Taos Pueblo are in various states of repair. Adobe is not necessarily a durable building material and I'm sure its longevity is in some proportion to the amount of rain that falls on it. In this area, of course, there's not much. Not much wholesale alteration can go on because the pueblo is a Unesco World Heritage site. And if you accept that designation, along with it comes a commitment that you're not going to alter much of the cultural landscape, which in this case means the buildings.

As far as I can tell, the people are mostly engaged in the tourist trade. The admission charge to the town is $16 per head. And, once there, you'll pay $4 for a glass of ice tea or lemonade and whatever else you want for various examples of native crafts. I bought a clay bear and a little painting of a bear.

The bear is the symbol of good fortune and strength. I gave the clay bear to my new grandson. I haven't decided who gets the card yet.

Taos Pueblo is a very short drive from the city of Taos, and is well worth the visit. It's small, and you can walk around almost all of it in an hour, if you don't stop to talk much to the friendly people who are set up in the various points of shade to offer their wares. I spoke to a few folks and came away impressed by their sense of place and home and pride that they were a part of something that was at least mostly unchanged for hundreds of years. It leaves a good feeling.

graveyard taos pueblo
The graveyard is at the edge of the town near the entrance and parking lot.
new door ladder taos pueblo
The ladders, I was told, were for defense. You could bar the door, then enter the home from the roof and pull the ladder up behind you. I don't think there are a lot of attacks these days, but if there are, they're prepared. This house also had a new door. They haven't thought of what to do with the old one yet.
chapel gate taos pueblo
The small courtyard of the town church. The only bit of adobe I saw in the town that was highlighted in white.
door ladder taos pueblo
I believe the round structure to the left of the door is an oven. Don't know if it's for bread or pottery. Although I was shown an oven in another home, and the owner said that it was used to fire her pots.
homes taos pueblo
The most complex structure in town, framed by the mountains and clouds.
bike and door
A modern bike parked in front of an ancient home. The door was painted bright blue, and the bike had no lock.
A stick fence which didn't go all the way around the small bit of land. No idea why it's there. It's not keeping anything in or out.

Taos Pueblo was the subject of the famed photographer Ansel Adams' first book. You can probably get yourself a copy of the first edition for about $85,000. Or here's a reprint at a bargain.

See this link for a complete list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States with links to the ones we have visited.

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4 thoughts on “Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, Black and White”

  1. Still trying to get used to pictures of Taos. It really wasn’t that long ago that it was pretty well forbidden, but they have definitely relaxed the rules. I think your decision to make them black and white is an excellent one. It really enhances the visual.

    • Thanks so much. I think it was pretty clear that the people weren’t to be photographed without permission, but the buildings were there for the shooting. No photography was allowed, though, in the chapel.


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