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map showing Taos County real estate

Taos has been a destination for travelers, traders, hunter-gatherers, farmers, ranchers, and artists for centuries. Early nomads left arrowheads, potsherds and pictographs over 6,000 years ago. Around 900 years ago the Pueblo Indians inhabited villages around the Taos valley and the people of Taos Pueblo were probably living in their present villages by 1350 AD. In 1540 the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Alvarado followed the Rio Grande River north to the Taos valley.

By 1615 many Spanish families had settled in the area with their horses, cattle, sheep, cultivation of wheat and the use of the wheel. In 1725 the first permanent settlement in the Taos Valley outside the Taos Pueblo was established in Ranchos de Taos. In the early 1800s Taos became the headquarters for mountain men such as Kit Carson. The immigration of artists began in 1898 and in 1917 socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan arrived and eventually brought creative artists such as Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Aldous Huxley, Georgia O'Keefe, and Thornton Wilder.

Art has continued to be a living legacy in Taos. The Taos Pueblo Indians have worked with clay, fiber, leather, wood and stone for over 900 years. The Spanish settlers have decorated their homes and churches with an art form that has become unique to the Taos area. When the European trained artists started to arrive over 100 years ago they fell in love with the people, landscapes and the light of the area.

Today you'll find new artists who are capturing the spirit and feeling of Taos in their sculptures, paintings, jewelry, furniture, carvings, weavings and many other mediums.

Taos photos by Dan Frank Kuehn

About Taos NM