June 14, 2016

2612, 2860 UNITED STATES (New Mexico) - Taos Pueblo (UNESCO WHS)

2612 Puebloan woman baking bread at Taos Pueblo

Situated in the valley of Rio Pueblo de Taos, a small tributary of the Rio Grande, at about 1.6km north of the modern city of Taos, Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people. It is a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos, and the Taos community is known for being one of the most private, secretive, and conservative pueblos. A reservation of 38,000ha is attached to the pueblo, and about 4,500 people live in this area.

2860 A Puebloan woman

This settlement, consisting of ceremonial buildings and facilities, and multi-storey adobe dwellings built in terraced tiers, exemplifies the living culture of a group of present-day Pueblo Indian people. As one of a series of settlements established in the late 13th and early 14th centuries that have survived, it represents a significant stage in the history of urban, community and cultural life in this region. It has been continuously inhabited and is the largest of these Pueblos that still exist.

Even if it shows many similarities to settlement sites preserved in nearby places such Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, it is nevertheless unique to this region and not derived from Mesoamerican precedents. The property includes the walled village with two multi-storey adobe structures, seven kivas (underground ceremonial chambers), the ruins of a previous pueblo, four middens, a track for traditional foot-races, the ruins of the first church built in the 1600s and the present-day San Geronimo Catholic Church.

Most archeologists believe that the Taos Indians, along with other Pueblo Indians, settled along the Rio Grande after migrating south from the Four Corners region. A long drought in the area in the late 13th century may have caused them to move to the Rio Grande, where the water supply was more dependable. Throughout its early years, Taos Pueblo was a central point of trade between the native populations and their Plains Tribes neighbors to the northeast.

The buildings originally had few windows and no doorways. Access to rooms was through square holes in the roof that the people reached by climbing long, wooden ladders. Cedar logs supported roofs that had layers of branches, grass, mud, and plaster covering them. The homes usually consist of two rooms, one of which is for general living and sleeping, and the second of which is for cooking, eating, and storage. Each home is self-contained; there are no passageways between the houses.

The Puebloans were weavers of cloth and used textiles before European colonization, but it isn't known whether they knew of weaving before or after the Aztec. Since woven clothing was expensive, their common style of dress for working was more spare. The men often wore breechcloths. They were "dry farmers," relying on crops that could survive arid conditions, mainly corn, beans and squash (often described as the Three Sisters).

About the stamps
On the postcard 2612
Three of the stamp are part of the series Classic American Aircraft, about which I wrote here. The last stamp, depicting Ernest E. Just (1883-1941), is part of the series Black Heritage Series, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 2860
About the first stamp, which pays tribute to the majestic emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), I wrote here. The last two stamps are part of the series Soda Fountain Favorites, about which I wrote here.

Taos Pueblo - Wikipedia
Taos Pueblo - UNESCO official website
Puebloan peoples - Wikipedia

Sender 2612, 2860: Denise 
2612: Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 25.03.2015
Photo: Wyatt Davis
2860: Sent from New York City (New York / United States), on 30.10.2016    

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