Monday, March 17, 2014

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is a village on the Taos Indian Reservation located in northern New Mexico, roughly 60-70 miles north of Santa Fe. Taos valley has been occupied by Taos people for over 1000 years. The current pueblo buildings date from between 1000 and 1450 AD. Taos Pueblo was found by the Spanish in 1540 AD and at first was thought to be one of the seven cities of gold.

The two main structures are about the same age and are five stories tall. They are made of adobe with some of the walls being several feet thick. The main horizontal roof timbers are called vigas and were brought to the pueblo from the nearby mountains. Originally there were no doors with entrance being by ladders through the roof. The interior walls are plastered with white earth and the exterior walls plastered with mud. Running water and electricity are not permitted in the old pueblo.

At the current time about 150 people permanently occupy the pueblo. Many people will return to the houses that they own as part of the pueblo for ceremonials. Over 1900 Taos people live on the reservation lands. The reservation has 99,000 acres including Blue Lake.

Taos has been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO as well as a National Historic Landmark.

The two photos below are an overview of one of the main buildings,one in color and the other black and white.

Below are photos of a partial of one of the buildings showing some detail, a small dwelling, a rez dog curled up a his front door and several smaller pueblo dwellings.

Below are four views of the pueblo from different vantage points.

Another view from a slightly different angle and more closeup.

This a view of the graveyard with the pueblo in the background.

Below is St. Jerome's Church, constructed in 1850. 

This is one of my all time favorite portraits. This elderly Taos native stood outside the pueblo volunteering to have her photograph taken for a fee, which I was happy to pay.

Below is a small road on the edge of the pueblo. The beehive ovens shown here fascinate me. Beehive fireplaces are common in northern New Mexico. I had one built in our Tucson house.

This old wagon was on the outskirts of the pueblo. I didn't even have to take my National Geographic issue can of spray paint and paint it red. One of my favorite photos.

Taos Pueblo is open to visitors from 0800 to 4 or 4:30 daily. The Pueblo is closed from March 6 to April 27. There is an admission fee and a fee to photograph. For more information you can call 575-758-1028 or go to

These photographs are all from October 1974. They were taken with a Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL with 50 or 55mm lens, on Kodachrome. They were scanned on either a Minolta Dimage 5400II 35m film scanner or a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i scanner.


  1. That first picture that showed up on Facebook definitely drew me in to look at the rest. Of course I love the door and the 10th picture has to be photoshopped. Those colors are amazing. Yes, the portrait of the native elder is rich. Great job. I've visited Taos and I can say it's one of the few places I heard the earth hum a low D flat.