20 September 2006

Taos


In the early 1980's I was fortunate to spend a considerable amount of time at Taos, New Mexico. This was before the area started to become fashionable with airport, casino and creeping urbanisation. My house was about 20 miles north of the town and situated upon a Mesa on top of Arroyo Hondo. At the back was the Rio Grande River and at the front thousands of acres of open land and the Taos Mountains!

On the outskirts of Taos is the Taos Pueblo and one Christmas Day I went there to attend a Festival enacted by tribe members dressed in elaborate animal masks and costumes. The sky was violet, the air crisp and waiting for snow and the earth and adobe houses built upon it all shone with a translucent ochre light.



That Festival is open to non-tribals but there are other esoteric ceremonies performed that are concealed and secret. Behind the Pueblo nestled in the Taos Mountains is the sacred Blue Lake and oral tradition holds that the Taos tribe was created out of its sacred waters.



The Lake which is of historic importance and essential to Taos culture is the location for ceremonies which few non-tribals have ever witnessed. One writer compares the rituals of one particular 3-day ceremony to those witnessed in India conducted by Hindus and wondered if there was some anthropological link between the Pueblo Indians and the Hindus of India.

Whether or not that sort of link exists can only be conjecture, but for me Taos, with its mountains and mesas and profound sacredness is the only other spot other than Arunachala that I could truly say, 'satisfied my heart'. Even the dirt in both places looks the same!


1 comment:

Divyakka said...

Lovely memories for you