Upon returning to Santa Fe duly impressed with the Anasazi,
who now were being addressed as the "Ancestral Pueblans,"
I decided along the way to make a stop in Taos and visit the
Pueblo's shop there. I made mention that I was a novice when
it came to their ancestors, but I was really interested in their
religion. Well...after some silence, one of the shopkeepers
said that some modern Pueblans are reticent to discuss the
details of their ceremonials, their rituals, to outsiders.
With that, I quietly apologized and started to leave the shop.
But, the shopkeeper took pity and steered me to a person in
Taos who might be willing to talk with me. He made a phone
call, talked for awhile, hung-up--and gave me the person's
name and address. He would be willing to talk with me the
next morning. So I found lodging in Taos and slept soundly
overnight. I was tired.
The next morning I met a most charming person, truly
helpful. I stated that I didn't really require ceremonial secrets,
rather just some insight about the structure of their religion.
(I felt it best not to relate my Anasazi interest, however.
Rather I wanted to put together myself what little I had
learned about the ancient Indians with what I might learn
about the modern Pueblans.)
First, this gentle man explained that there are different groups
of modern Pueblans. There's the Taos, Tiwa, the Tewa, the
Keresan, the Zuni, and the Hopi. There may have been more,
but I started to lose track. What I was trying to zoom upon was
*common* religious features that all these groups might have
held. But I had to be careful not to push, still it was hard being
I did take notes, and here are some of those common features I
believe that connect the ancient Anasazi with the modern Pueblans.
• They are mostly farmers, some still follow the sun, the seasons,
to help them make their agricultural decisions.
• Some, such as the Zuni, hold religious beliefs centered around
the Earth Mother, the Moonlight-Giving Mother, and the Sun. The
Sun is especially worshipped--as the Sun is seen as the Giver of
Life, the Creator Sun Father.
Additionally, I learned that modern Pueblans, who followed their
traditional religion, were animists. As was put, they hold to a
spiritual essence in all creation. They believe the trees, the rocks,
the corn plants--all are companions in their life. In other words,
the Pueblans honor Mother Earth out of which they emerge and
return. The kiva is a structural symbol of this emergence.
I accrued lots more information; but my next step was about
what I was going to do with such, where might I head with this?