Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have greatly broadened my knowledge of the Southwest and of the Native American people since our move to Santa Fe. My perception of Native Americans - which is probably the same as a lot of other Easterners - is that they sit around all day in front of their houses, don't work and drink all day. This is quite possibly the case with some of the truly poor reservations like those in the Dakotas and I believe Oklahoma but that does not appear to be the case with the pueblos in our area of New Mexico. My husband and I had the opportunity to go to a "feast" at the Cochiti Pueblo a few weeks ago. We witnessed the residents of the pueblo doing the Corn Dance, which lasts throughout the day. There were vendors selling handmade pottery and jewelry and others selling food. We were invited by one of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) officers that I dispatch to the home of his girlfriend to take part in the feast. It is a great honor to be invited into the home and one not to be turned down. When you have had your fill of the food provided, you thank the host and leave the residence.
Besides going to the Cochiti Pueblo, we have also visited the Taos Pueblo, which is pictured above and below. This pueblo is 5 stories high and still has some families living in it. It has no electricity running to it and the families that live there use propane and wood for heating and cooking. Several of the rooms on the bottom level have shops in them displaying the beautiful Taos pottery and the jewelry. The pueblo is divided in half by a stream running through it. This is a really beautiful setting. A large part of the drive from Santa Fe to Taos follows the Rio Grande River which offers white water rafting.

The feasts for the Nambe Pueblo (we live on the Nambe reservation) and for the Pojoaque Pueblo (which is where I work) will be held later this year. There can be more that one feast for each pueblo and these two are heading towards the holidays.
My veterinarian (and seriously good friend) is due in here tomorrow from Florida. We will be heading out to the Shiprock New Mexico area on Friday for some sightseeing before going to Gallup on Saturday for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. Lea and I have been twice before and enjoyed it very much. As this will probably be my last year living out here, I really wanted to go
this time. Bob and I are doing as many day trips as we can also so that we don't leave here wishing that we had gone to see more places. Made that mistake when we lived in Florida the first time. We will try to correct that mistake when we get back there...............

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