Taos (Tuah-Tah)

Taos Pueblo today stands as the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States, and is the only living Native American community that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. Most of the present buildings were constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D., all made from traditional adobe, which is earth mixed with water and straw. This Tiwa-speaking Pueblo became an important trade center for Plains Indian, Spanish and Mexican traders because of its location near the mountain pass that connected the region to the Great Plains. In the 17th century Spanish settlers were attracted to Taos, because of these trade networks, its mission, and abundant water, timber and game. Conflict between these settlers and Taos Pueblo contributed to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Today, the people of Taos Pueblo continue to live according to traditional values and are careful not to share their oral traditions, history, rituals with non-tribal members to preserve their traditional way of life. Taos is known for its traditional micaceous clay pottery, a type of utilitarian ware that has a beautiful metallic shimmer created by the high mica content in the clay around Taos. Taos artists also create elegant handcrafted leather goods, including moccasins, boots and drums, as well contemporary sculpture, painting and jewelry.