Feast Day at The Taos Pueblo, The Neighborhoods of Santa Fe, New Mexico
This Friday, September 30, 2011 is the annual Feast Day honoring St. Geronimo (St. Jerome). Tonia and I are taking the Sophomore class from Desert Academy. The Pueblo has been inhabited continuously for over 1,000 years. Taos Pueblo was admitted to the World Heritage Society in 1992 as one of the most significant historical cultural landmarks in the world (other sites include the Taj Mahal, Great Pyramids and the Grand Canyon. We’re looking forward to witnessing traditional sacred dances, pole climbing, their famous hospitality (and to mutton, corn on the cob, fry bread).
Here is the school’s announcement:
Desert Academy Field Trip
New Mexico History – Getting to Know our Pueblo Neighbors
TAOS PUEBLO – SAN GERONIMO FEAST DAY
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Class: Grade 10
Chaperones: Tonia Umphrey, Kristin, Augie, 2 teachers
Every September 30th, Taos Pueblo celebrates San Genonimo Feast Day. The pueblo opens its doors to all visitors from near and far and invites us to immerse ourselves in the splendor of this feast day of Taos, as we observe the traditional Corn Dances at the center of the village plaza.
Orientation and preparation of gift baskets in the Big Room at 8:10. School bus leaves Desert Academy at 8:30 sharp. The bus will be returning at 3:45 pm. Hat, sunscreen, small backpack, snacks that won’t melt, and water bottle recommended. A $15 fee for this field trip will cover a $5 per person entrance fee as well as the costs of several fruit gift baskets and sacks of provisions to offer to the spiritual leaders and Governor of the Pueblo as well as a vegetarian sack lunch provided by Marja’s catering.
“Feast Days” at each of the Pueblos are named after the Pueblos’ patron saint. The Pueblos open up their respective Feast Days to the public where visitors can view the reverent dances and songs offered on those days. Feast Days bring tribal members together to renew their culture, language and native religion. On those days, families prepare food for the many invited visitors coming through their homes, and participate in the activities taking place on their Feast Day. We will be meeting the spiritual leaders of Taos on there Feast Day, so we ask that students do not wear revealing clothing out of respect for them. Shorts and skirts must be at or below knee line.
Traditional Name: Tuah-Tah
I-25 north to Santa Fe, 84/285 north of Santa Fe 24.3 miles, junction with NM 68 in Española, 48 miles north on NM 68 to junction with US 64 in Taos, 1 mile north on US 64. There is a sign on the highway.
575-758-9593 or 575-758-1028 | www.taosPueblo.com
Taos Pueblo today stands as the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States. It has endured even after 400 years of Spanish and Anglo presence. Crystal clear waters of the Rio Pueblo, which originate high in the mountains at the Taos Pueblo sacred Blue Lake, still serve as the primary source for drinking and irrigation. To visit Taos Pueblo is to experience the spirit and unique way of life that continues much as it has for nearly ten centuries.
The artists of Taos Pueblo produce beautiful handcrafted wares using techniques passed down through generations.
Tanned buckskin moccasins and drums are characterized by simplicity and enduring quality. Sculpture, painting and jewelry are contemporary expressions of traditional art forms. Taos Pueblo is known for micaceous clay pottery, which has been their utilitarian cookware through the ages.
Today, Taos Pueblo potters are challenged to produce high quality pottery by putting a high polish on vessels.
In 1960, Taos Pueblo was designated a National Historic Landmark; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1992, the Pueblo was admitted by the United Nations to the “World Heritage List,” due to its uniqueness and universal value to the heritage of all mankind.
When visiting Taos Pueblo, students will have an opportunity to learn about its history and culture. They will experience songs and dances that have transcended time and are passed down from generation to generation on this feast day.
Tonia Umphrey, who has worked with the historic preservation of pueblo architecture, will be your guide along with Robin Jones of Cornerstones Community Partnerships who will share her knowledge and the importance of maintaining the ancient techniques and traditions of earthen architecture. Students will watch ceremonial dances and learn about pueblo etiquette.
They will see firsthand hand how the cultures and traditions of Taos are an integral part of their life and the very essence of their existence.
Hope to see you there!