Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pecos Pueblo

RV campgrounds are great places for people watching and vehicle watching. Don't you wonder who chose what this little girl was wearing this day?

When we saw this tractor with its sleeper area, jeep and bicycles, we thought they were really minimalist, even if they had lots of towing power.

However, this morning, when they pulled out of the campground, they were pulling a very long 5th wheel trailer. So now we wonder why they used the big motor to do their sight-seeing. They must not want to leave anything when they go on the road!

Pecos National Historical Park is just a little east of where we are staying right now in Santa Fe. We seemed to remember we had visited there before but couldn't find a stamp for the park in our National Parks Passport. This shows what is left of the second mission church constructed near the Pecos Pueblo. It was built in the early 1700s.

The church had a large Convento, buildings to house the priests and provide space for workshops, corrals, stables, kitchen, gardens and dining room. Here the priest taught Indians new ways of building, carpentry and caring for livestock. The first mission church was even larger and build in the early 1600s. It was destroyed in 1680 during a Pueblo Revolt across New Mexico that drove the Spanish, both priests and soldiers, back to Mexico for a period of time.

This low stone wall surrounded the grounds of the 5-story high Pueblo, housing perhaps 2,000 people. The pueblo was constructed during the 1300s and early 1400s. The wall would not have provided protection, but it did delineate the area reserved for pueblo residents from the surrounding plain where trade was carried on with Plains Indians. The trade was welcomed and possibly carried out closer to the pueblo, but the traders had to spend the night outside the stone wall.

At least 20 underground Kivas have been found near the pueblo. They were not all in use at one time. Different clans and societies carried out various ceremonies, each in their own Kiva.

This is a view through the front into the church. With all the religious ties represented by the Kivas, it is no wonder the Franciscan friars had a hard time winning the hearts and minds of the pueblo residents.

The pattern of adobe brick construction you can see here shows the sophistication of building techniques the Spanish priests taught the Indians.

This cobblestone floor most likely shows where the kitchen of this 1600s farm house was located. The stones allowed water to run off.

This shows more rooms in the same building.

The Historic Site certainly helps illustrate the interaction of several Native American groups with each other and with the Spanish.

By the way, we had been there before, but we learned a whole lot more this time.

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