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Taos Pueblo

Listed under Traditional Cultures in Southwest Desert, United States.

  • Photo of Taos Pueblo
  • Photo of Taos Pueblo
Photo of Taos Pueblo
Photo by flickr user PhillipC
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Pueblo is the word used for villages built by indigenous Americans in the southwest pre-Columbus. Usually occupying defensive positions the most famous of the pueblos are the square, flat rooved multi-storey buildings with the square windows that look like they’re made from clay and are surrounded by desert and what ever fields people could work. The pueblo outside of the New Mexican city of Taos is one of the best to visit; it's been continually inhabited for the last thousand years, currently by about 2000 people.

The Taos pueblo also has the world’s largest complex of these square, ochre buildings thought to have been built between 1000 and 1450, this is one of the continually inhabited parts of the pueblo with about 150 residents. Built for defence there are some rooms you can only enter via ladder and there are ladders linking the floors inside so people could pull them up and try and wait out a siege. Only slight modernisations are allowed - certainly no running water or electricity - but beds and other furniture have been brought in. Built around a river with a surrounding wall, now eroding away, the pueblo is now part open to the public. Some doors are closed and there are obviously restricted areas and requests that you don‘t photograph people without asking them first - remember people are still living out their day to day lives here!

Taos Pueblo Homepage.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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Pueblo de Taos

Situated in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande, this adobe settlement – consisting of dwellings and ceremonial buildings – represents the culture of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

Pueblo settlements

In continuous use for human settlement, the Pueblo settlements date from around 1400, and have survived in their original layout. More than 100 people still live here like their ancestors 1,000 years ago. There are two large buildings at the entrance, both with rooms piled on top of each other, forming structures that echo the shape of Taos Mountain. Residents live here without electricity or running water. The main buildings' distinctive flowing lines of shaped mud, with a straw-and-mud exterior plaster, are typical of Pueblo architecture. It's architecture that blends in with the surrounding land. Bright blue doors are the same shade as the sky that frames the brown buildings.

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