Taos Pueblo

Taos pueblo is located in Northern New Mexico in the town of Taos. It considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA. The main part of the present buildings were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D. The appeared much as they do today when the first Spanish explorers arrived in Northern New Mexico in 1540 and believed that the Pueblo was one of the fabled golden cities of Cibola. The two structures called Hlauuma (north house) and Hlaukwima (south house) are said to be of similar age. (taospueblo.com)

The U.S. government wanted to turn Blue Lake into a National Park. The Pueblo safeguarding the interest and welfare of the people and its water supply would not sell the land to the government. On December 15, 1970, former President Richard M. Nixon signed into affect Public Law 91-550, approved in a bipartisan manner by the United States Congress. In speaking of the Bill’s significance, President Nixon stated, “This is a bill that represents justice, because in 1906 an injustice was done in which land involved in this bill, 48,000 acres, was taken from the Indians involved, the Taos Pueblo Indians. (taospueblo.com)

Approximately 150 people live within the Pueblo full time. Other families own homes in the North or South buildings live in summer homes near their fields, and in more modern homes outside the old walls but still within Pueblo land. There are over 1900 Taos Indians living on Taos Pueblo lands.

Food that has been a part of Taos Pueblo tradition includes squash, beans, corn, blue white and yellow, piñon nuts, blueberries, choke cherries, pumpkin, elk, deer, rabbit, buffalo, oven bread and pies. Most foods mentioned have been consumed by natives and other cultures. The majority of foods may be found in semi dry climates. Many of these foods can be canned or dried. Hunting is a major part of survival for centuries although other tribes have adopted other foods such as red and green chili. White and yellow corn tortillas, red chili and green chili.

Traditional recipes can included Atole, blue corn piñon pancakes, turkey tomatillo tamales, trail mix with piñon and pumpkin seeds. Navajo Fry bread is made with 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 milk and shortening to fry. You combine the ingredients and roll out to fry. Place in frying pan with about an inch on shortening.

The powwow is part of a cultural ceremony that developed in the late 1800s. Beginning as tribal gatherings for council and celebrations of a good hunt or harvest in the face of the U.S. government’s efforts to suppress such things, powwows evolved as a way for people of different languages, customs and beliefs to come together in the ways they could all share: dancing, singing and ceremony. Dancers and drum groups vie for significant prize money, competing in a wide variety of styles and ages.

Resources: http://taospueblo.com/about/