Road Trip Day 3 (FINAL)
Despite knowing we were 9 hours from home, we still wanted to take the 90 minute tour at Acoma Pueblos. They are the longest inhabited dwellings in the western hemisphere (or something like that.) They were built on plateaus for protection. It's really impressive considering they had to lug all the building material up. Thankfully, in the 90s a movie crew gave them a paved road, so I didn't have to haul my cookies up and could take a convenient shuttle. (View looking down to the visitors center that thankfully has nice bathrooms)
The homes are passed down matrilineal ending up with the youngest daughter (who should live the longest and take care of the older siblings) Their government is run by men.
This last picture is a good representation of the old along side with the restored houses. They tried to keep as close as possible to the original look, but stuff from Home Depot can only do so much. There is no running water or electricity, because they don't want to run visible above ground lines. Most houses have generators that they use for special occasions like Super Sunday (they are Broncos fans). Most of the people live year round off the pueblos in houses that have modern conveniences, however, many of the elderly do live up there year round. I did point out to one of the residents that the Taos Pueblos have DirectTV dishes, and she said REALLY??? So I expect by the next time I visit they will have satellite as well as DSL.
The Spanish forced them to build a church. And ofcourse the materials besides having to be carried up the plateau, weren't exactly conveniently near either... and it's the middle of a desert. To this day they still have a form of Catholicism that they combine with their original beliefs (frankly, if I were them, I would be kind of soured on the whole Christian thing.)
This part of the walking path seems innocuous enough, but lower there is a point where they have to turn around and go down by rope. They still use this path on planting day.
Outside the church is a graveyard. They had to build a retaining wall and bring in dirt because they couldn't dig into the mountain. They have people stacked in the ground about 6 deep. Surrounding the edge of the plateau, besides porta-potties, there are mounds with faces on them. From a distance they are meant to look like sentries station and guarding the pueblos. Up close, they are adorable!
Unlike the Taos Pueblos, they dont have stores to sell their wares; instead, they set up tables outside and have the tour times pretty well down.
Clay ovens still in use:
So Anna and I were walking along and I saw this entryway, and I said, "wow I would sure hate to come home drunk to THIS house." In any other community, an innocuous comment. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was in a community with the drunk Indian stereotype, which probably explained the odd look that a tourist guy that was walking near us gave me. Anna thought this was hysterically funny and immediately insisted on taking the picture.
There are packages where you can stay at their casino hotel and then observe some of their rituals. I might have to check out some time. Though, I will admit, that casinos outside of Vegas, irritate me with their goofy rules. Luckily or not, it was a Sunday, I didn't even try to look for LYSs. We left the reservation around 2pm MDT and drove back over the Hoover Dam around 9pm PDT. I've always kind of written NM off, as well, Arizona, which I have really written off as a lot of space between my point A and whatever my point B is. But my 2nd trip now checking out NM, has made me want to explore it even more. I'm thinking for sure I will be back there in 08 and exploring more and more pueblos... and maybe a few LYSs ;)
Driving back to Las Vegas was a bit frustrating because the lights can be seen so far away... I would think I was a lot closer than I really was. Suprisingly when I got home, I got luke warm greetings from everyone but BABETTE! The ferret that hates people, greeted me! I was shocked. My faithful dog and WHN, barely lifted their eyes from the TV. The cat, once he got home greeted me... so he's off the hook.... but the rest of them... little beasts.