Thursday, September 4, 2008

El Rancho de Los Golondrinas

Near Santa Fe we visited a living history museum much like Colonial Williamsburg or Sturbridge Village. El Rancho de Las Goldrinas re-creates surroundings and tasks of the settlers from Mexico in the early 1800s. We went on the "Josefina" tour, a tour just for kids that's based on the American Girl character. Some of the buildings at the ranch have been designed to replicate those in the books. Below are some photos showing ways that Josefina would have spent the day.

Here's the garden- it was about 3 times bigger than shown in this photo.

Weaving display. The settlers slept on the woven blankets.

Most homes had small altars where they prayed to the saints. It wasn't unusual to find a saint figurine turned to the wall in "punishment" if they didn't fulfill requests.

Here's the altar in the chapel. A gorgeous example of the art of Retablo (handpainted depictions of saints on wood).
Several families lived together on the ranch. Josefina might have been in charge of bringing water from the well each day,

Grinding flour for tortillas,

taking sheep to graze in the fields,

Weaving blankets for her family,
dyeing wool using natural sources, like flower petals and bugs.
gathering and preparing foods for drying and preserving during winter months,

Patching the cracked adobe walls with new mud.

A great place to visit if you're ever in Santa Fe!


Joanne said...

Nice pictures, you had a great vacation. I had to smile when I read that they punished the saint figurines. Kind of like a time-out. P.S. I just noticed you put me on your blogroll, and I'm off now to add yours to mine. I like your take on life!

tut-tut said...

Dyeing is not an easy task! Nice photos; I'd like to travel out West someday . . .

Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures!

Actually the Josephina books were based on El Rancho de las Golondrinas and not the other way around. Most of the building are actual period building that were moved to the ranch from all over northern New Mexico!