Second Faculty Sponsor
Taos Pueblo, a Northern New Mexico Pueblo, is designated as a World Heritage Site that continues to engage in traditional cultural practices. Because it is a living community practicing traditional customs, it is considered a living heritage site. Living heritage refers to the continuity of tangible and intangible heritage that is maintained by the core-community. Western conservation approaches have rarely integrated community-based strategies when protecting dynamic cultural sites. The purpose of this research is to explore conservation strategies at Taos Pueblo and how they reflect a living heritage approach. Using Rapid Ethnographic Assessment Protocol (Taplin, Scheld, & Low, 2002), I worked closely with the community by immersing myself in the culture through an emic perspective. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 5 residents of Taos Pueblo; the questions referred to preservation processes, restoration projects, preservation of the Tiwa language, sacred ceremonies, and the evolving heritage. I inductively analyzed interview transcriptions in NVivo to identify themes. A few of these themes include conservation strategies that facilitate the restoration of adobe homes, encouraging involvement in sacred ceremonies at a young age, and restricting photographs and recordings of the Pueblo. I used Poulios’ (2014) framework to interpret the extent to which Taos Pueblo’s conservation practices reflect a living heritage approach. I witnessed the perpetual connection the people of Taos have with their roots, which explains their concerns with maintaining the continuity of their heritage. Through a living heritage approach, the tangible and intangible heritage of Taos Pueblo and other dynamic cultural sites can be successfully conserved because this approach provides support for long term conservation.
"Exploring Living Heritage Conservation: An Ethnography of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico,"
Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado: Vol. 6
, Article 11.
Available at: https://digscholarship.unco.edu/urj/vol6/iss2/11
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