Sunday, November 6, 2011

Revisiting America

One day this past week, I was in Mariposa Boutique, not shopping, looking, and the owner, Katie Iko invited me to church. That's where I attended today, Taos Valley Baptist Church. Pastor Nick Shields delivered a great message from Revelation 3:14-22, concerning "luke-warm" Christians and churches. A very good crowd, lots of children and youth, off-the-wall music, but good, a full calender of activities, so friendly, and something I haven't seen before, a list of church member services. Everything from specially designed cards to plumbing and firewood.
The day I went to Arroyo Seco I also visited the Taos Pueblo. I'm sure most have read about or seen this unusual village. It's considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA. The Native legends and detailed oral history trace their existence back to the beginning of the evolution of man and all of creation. The Native Language, Tiwa, is unwritten, unrecorded, and will remain so. The details of their traditional values are guarded as sacred and are not divulged. The past oppressions upon this culture has required them to keep the details unspoken.
The two main structures of the Pueblo, Hlaauma/North House, and Hlaukkwima/South House are believed to be well over a thousand years old. The buildings are made entirely of adobe and have to be plastered annually with adobe due to the exposure of the four seasons. The Pueblo maintains a restriction of NO ELECTRICITY, and NO RUNNING WATER within the sacred village. Some homes adopted the use of wood stoves for cooking but many still continue to cook right in the fireplace.
Conservation and preservation of the Sacred Village and the Blue Lake Wilderness Area are the primary concern of the Taos Pueblo. Their goal is to maintain the area of over 100,000 acres in it's most natural state-protecting trees, water, fish, wildlife, soils and land from damage. The Taos Wilderness Act provided the tribe with exclusive use of the area for traditional purposes and is closed to the geneeral public.
There is a fee to walk the grounds, as well as camera use, and guides are available as well.
Many of the houses are open and have jewelry, breads, and leather goods for sale. It sorta contradicts itself, but it is well worth the visit, and I will explain more in the book, plus pictures.

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