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  Field Notes From
Pueblo Ancestors Return Home

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View Field Notes
From Author

Cliff Tarpy

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From Photographer

Ira Block

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Alexandra Brasoveanu (top) and Ira Block

At the Jemez Pueblo Reburial

Field Notes From Photographer
Ira Block
Interacting with the people of Jemez Pueblo and feeling their emotion, plus witnessing how much this event meant to them, was moving for me. I was continually reminded that this was a sacred and serious ceremony. The people were truly relieved that their ancestors were finally being returned to their original resting place. That kind of emotion in such a large group is very unusual to witness. For some reason the hotels in Santa Fe, where I was staying, were almost booked solid. I managed to find a room, but the hotel couldn’t guarantee that I could stay in the same room every night. So every day I had to call the hotel from wherever I was shooting to check on availability. This went on for about four nights. If I had to relocate, I had to run back to the hotel and move my equipment and clothing out. Ultimately I decided to leave things packed to avoid that and to allow hotel personnel to move everything for me. Fortunately they only moved me once, but I never knew from day to day. After a long day of working, it’s nice to know that you have a place to take a shower and go to bed. Before the procession into Pecos began, I scouted out a great location where the road went up a hill so I could get a nice shot at the end of the march. That morning I started shooting pretty far down the road as the people were getting prepared for the march. But the road was blocked to automobile traffic once the procession started, so I had to race back to the hill on foot. I grabbed my cameras and ran about a mile (1.6 kilometers). I run routinely so it wasn’t that terrible for me, except that I was fully clothed and wearing about 20 or 30 pounds (9 or 14 kilograms) of camera equipment.

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