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Archive for new mexico

A Feast for the Eyes in Santa Fe

By Linda Tancs

This weekend marks the 96th annual Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Begun in 1922, the market is the largest and most prestigious juried Native American arts show in the world. It attracts over 100,000 visitors from around the world who buy art directly from roughly 900 artists from over 200 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. and Canada. Items include pottery, sculpture, textiles, paintings, wooden carvings, bead work, baskets, drums and bows and arrows. The event is preceded by Indian Market Week, a series of events in Native film, literature, music, fashion and visual art.

A Gathering of Nations

By Linda Tancs

North America’s largest pow wow is the Gathering of Nations event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The festival kicks off on April 27 with the Miss Indian World talent presentations, followed by two days of colorful Native American pow wow dancing and singing. Over 2,500 indigenous dancers and singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to the Gathering of Nations annually to participate socially and competitively. The family friendly event also includes an arts and crafts bazaar and musical entertainment across genres. The fun takes place at Tingley Coliseum/Expo.

A Nut in New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

Travelers along U.S. 54 between Alamogordo and Tularosa in New Mexico have an oddity to tickle their fancy. That’s where you’ll find the world’s largest pistachio. Appropriately enough, the giant-sized attraction is located at PistachioLand, a family farm featuring every take on the nut imaginable, like habanero lemon, BBQ, bacon ranch and garlic. The motorized tour of their orchards will show you how pistachios (and grapes in the vineyard) grow in their desert climate. The pistachio is one of the oldest edible nuts on the planet and is very nutritious. They’ll have some grafts for sale at the farm next February.

A Humpback in New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

Ask anyone in northern New Mexico to name their most unusual geological oddity and they’ll likely say it’s Camel Rock. As the name implies, it’s a rock that looks like a camel—sitting down. Located in Pojoaque, this inanimate nod to an ancient mammal is a quirky attraction opposite a casino (called Camel Rock, of course) owned by Tesuque Pueblo. The big question is (no, not ‘guess what day it is’)—one hump, or two? You decide.

A Different Kind of Boneyard

By Linda Tancs

It’s an alien world in Roswell, New Mexico—in more ways than one. Famously cited as the area of a UFO landing decades ago, these days it’s the alien feel of an aircraft boneyard that garners the attention of aircraft enthusiasts. That’s because Roswell International Air Center is where old planes go to die. One of a number of such sites (the largest in the world being Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona), its otherworldly connection gives it a leg up on the competition.

The White Sands of New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

Rising from the heart of New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin 14 miles west of Alamogordo is a sea of glistening white sands dating to the end of the last Ice Age, a prized gypsum dunefield known as White Sands National Monument. Although many dunefields exist around the world, most comprise typical brown quartz and other minerals. Only a handful of gypsum dunefields exist, White Sands being the world’s largest at 275 square miles. Even some of the animals living there are as white as their surroundings. In fact, three species of lizards, one pocket mouse and numerous species of insects have evolved a white coloration for survival in the white sands. Like every animal in the white sands, they make tracks on the varied dunes (four different types) during their nocturnal movements. Even the dunes themselves move as much as 30 feet per year. Park hours vary by season due to missile testing at the nearby range or inclement weather.

The Winged Rock

By Linda Tancs

Resembling the mythic Bali Hai (shark-toothed Mount Mouarua in Moorea), New Mexico’s Shiprock is likewise fanciful in its own, geologic sort of way. The landform, known as Tse Bitai (“the winged rock”) in Navajo, is a volcanic neck owing its shape to the erosion of surrounding rocks from an eruption occurring over 30 million years ago. It’s located in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Nation.

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