Peace in the valley

'Reconciliation' event designed to heal 'intercultural infirmities'

By Laura Bulkin
Posted 10/11/18

La Hacienda de Los Martínez in Lower Ranchitos will host "Reconciling for Peace in the Valley of the Río Pueblo de Taos" Saturday (Oct. 13), beginning at 10 a.m."It will be …

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Peace in the valley

'Reconciliation' event designed to heal 'intercultural infirmities'


La Hacienda de Los Martínez in Lower Ranchitos will host "Reconciling for Peace in the Valley of the Río Pueblo de Taos" Saturday (Oct. 13), beginning at 10 a.m.

"It will be in the form of a focused one-day gathering," said David Fernández, Taos Historic Museums board member and event organizer. "There will be traditional dancing (Pueblo, Genízaro, Old Spanish), harvest products, stories and accounts from the peoples and cultures who have made this valley their home. Beginning with the Pueblo, 'since time immemorial.' The Spanish from 1598 and from 1692 and onward. From the U.S. Territorial Period, the mountain traders legacy, the 'Crypto-Jewish' legacy, to the Taos artists. From the variety of faithway denominations, to the newest arrivals. Our area children and youth will also be invited to participate."

At 10 a.m., carved wooden santos (sculptures of Catholic saints) from Santa Fe and Taos will be brought to the Río Pueblo near the hacienda to join in symbolic reconciliation.

"Three of the old original santos of the Taos Valley will be brought down from the Martínez Hacienda for encuentro (encounter) with the santo image of La Señora de la Paz, the Lady of Peace -- formerly called La Conquistadora, the Conqueror -- from the Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe," Fernández said. "She and her Cofradia (confraternity) will be accompanied by traditional song. There may be drum and/or dance accompaniment. We will thank and bless the living and sustaining waters of the Taos Pueblo River, and pray for 'Reconciliation and Peace' in the Taos Valley and by extension in the world. The gathering will then process to the hacienda and to the chapel there, where the Lady of Peace will be dedicated as a Protectress of the Hacienda."

Fernández said that those who have been invited to speak at the encuentro include Fr. Dino Candelaria of the Ranchos de Taos Church, Taos Pueblo Gov. Gilbert Suazo and religious elders, and Interfaith Alliance representatives. (Confirmations were still pending at press time.) Fernández himself will open the event and moderate it.

"After the morning activities there is a kind of break. Our Lady of Peace will take part in some devotional ceremonies at San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos," Fernandez said. "People can choose whether to come to Ranchos or to stay around the Hacienda and have refreshments."

"We return to the Hacienda by 2 p.m. for a speakers panel, including a 'dialogue' between the Lady of Peace and the peoples' story (Spirituality/Culture/Heritage): clear-eyed recognition of past wrongs and forgiveness among the peoples of the Valley of the Río Pueblo de Taos. There will be discussion on peace and reconciliation issues from various points of view. And the event will conclude with song, prayer and blessing."

Fernández spoke about the inspiration for the event.

"Areas and cities like Taos, Santa Fe, and indeed all North New Mexico, share similar stories. The issues with the Santa Fe Entrada, for example, are replicated across the Northern region. The 1680 Pueblo Revolt was planned by Po'pay at Taos Pueblo. The Spanish returned in 1692 and afterward, with La Conquistadora as the potent symbol of their Christian faith. After their return, the two civilizations accommodated largely in mutual respect and La Conquistadora was now transformed into Our Lady of Peace, Nuestra Señora de la Paz. Her visit now to Taos Valley augments and enhances the resolution recently reached in Santa Fe over the Entrada issue, but is special and exceptionally meaningful for Taos Valley and region since it relates to the nurturing and life-sustaining, living waters of the Río Pueblo de Taos which originate in the Sacred Lake of Taos Mountain. And Taos has always been at the head of so many of these things, so these blessings are especially meaningful and effective."

Fernandez said he is a "native-born, multigenerational Taoseño, with 'mingled' bloodlines and Dineh relations. I'm deeply involved with the cultural/heritage essence of Taos and the northern area. I'm pleased to be part of Taos Historic Museums, especially in stewardship with the Hacienda. I'm also a board member of the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area, which advocates for the heritage and culture in Taos, Río Arriba, and Santa Fe Counties. I'm a writer/ columnist and a Spanish radio commentator as well. It all fits together.

"The Martínez Hacienda, like those very few others like it," he said, "are physical symbols of an exceptional way of life in an era not so very long ago, and which in many ways still thrives in El Norte, with Spanish language and customs and especially in the ways of faith and spirituality. The Hacienda is so much more than mere adobes and vigas. The people who built and lived in and administered these Haciendas were and remain a foundation of what the region has become, how it has developed and are an indelible and indestructible essential element of what has now come to exist. The Martínez Hacienda was constructed around 1804, but it and its descendants and stewards are very, very much alive."

Asked about his hopes for the event, Fernández said, "May we achieve reconciliation and peace in the Valley of the Río Pueblo de Taos! May Our Lady of Peace help us all to conquer our intercultural infirmities and our frailties so that together we may also conquer and overcome as brothers and sisters of the strongest mingled blood and spirit!"

The event is free and open to the public, but donations to the Martínez Hacienda are appreciated.The Hacienda and E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum are managed by the Taos Historic Museums.

La Hacienda de los Martínez is located at 708 Hacienda Road, off Lower Ranchitos Road 2 miles southwest of Taos Plaza. Call (575) 758-1000 or visit taoshistoricmuseums.org.


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