Saturday, June 28, 2008

A glimpse of history

Last Monday I was driving home from town when I saw, on the road ahead, what appeared to be a herd of horses loose on the road.  There were several cars ahead of mine, and it was still some distance, so I wasn't sure.  It's not uncommon to find a horse or two, or some cattle, on the road once in a while, so I didn't think too much about it.

Then, as my eyes adjusted to the distance, I realized I was witnessing something few people get to see.  It was a large group of men and boys from Taos Pueblo, heading out together.  Monte says it might have been what they call the Rabbit Hunt.  All I know is that I felt honored to be seeing them.  And then...I did the no-no, so I could share a bit of it with you.

I pulled over and got out my camera.Rabbithunt1

As I proceeded past them, I slowed way down and with the camera on automatic, held it out the window with my right hand while the left hand and my eyes were worrying about staying on the road and moving forward.  I heard someone yell at me.  I felt terrible.  I know I shouldn't have done it.  BUT...I have justified it (somewhat) because I wanted to share this with those of you who may never have been here or seen such a thing.  I only wish I could have gotten a long shot of all of them crossing the road.  By the time I got what I got, they were no longer in one long line.  My due respects to those who I may have offended by doing this.  Rabbithunt2

Once a year, later in the summer, I have been honored to have witnessed another annual ritual of theirs.  This one brings all the men and boys on horseback right up the road I live off.  They head into the mountains above me, and then come back a few days later.  I have been on the road and seen them; sometimes with painted faces, the little boys riding their hearts out on their ponies.  It is breath taking.  Again, I am honored. 

Another reason to love living in Taos.


ann-marie said...

I think this is just magical. Living in Taos is sometimes like being in a storybook in that things happen here that you ONLY find in obscure literature and dark fairy tales. Christmas Eve at the Pueblo, the Lighting of Ledoux, the upcoming 4th of July Parade in Seco, the April Fool's Day Parade... Your Rabbit Hunt photos have captured another of the myriad of colorful traditions we have here. Sloth of that guilt of yours, for sure. I'd love to learn what more Monte, or anyone else, knows about this!

Martie said...

Ann-Marie: You are so right on. Christmas Eve at the Pueblo is pretty hard to beat for something magical.
Monte didn't know anything more about the rabbit hunt; perhaps I can ask my postmaster, she is from the pueblo and may be amenable to my asking.