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Taos Pueblo and Blue Lake

Marcia Keegan's classic book is republished


Taos Pueblo and Its Sacred Blue Lake
Marcia Keegan

Early in the 20th century, a lake was taken away from a Native tribe by the federal government. It was hardly the first such example of manifest destiny – over the past 200 years Native Americans have lost millions of acres of mountains, forests, rivers, and plains. What makes this story so interesting is how the Indians got their lake back, through the efforts of their tribal elders and President Richard Nixon.

In Taos Pueblo and Its Sacred Blue Lake, Marcia Keegan chronicles the 65-year battle between the Taos Pueblo Indians and the U.S. government over ownership of a turquoise lake in the mountains of northern New Mexico. According to ancient tribal tradition, the lake is an ancient life source and the final resting place of their souls.

Keegan was a participant in the struggle, which ended in 1971 following a series of Congressional hearings. She tells the story through words and photographs that document not only the land dispute, but also scenes from everyday life at Taos Pueblo.

The book was originally published in 1971 when the victory celebrations were still in progress. A 1991 edition followed for its 20th anniversary; and as another 20 years have passed, this revised and expanded release reminds the world that anything is possible.

Taos Pueblo and Its Sacred Blue Lake is comprised of just 70 pages, but as Frank Waters observes in the foreword, “This small book is bigger than what it seems ... [Keegan’s] simple words and stunning photographs hit the high spots of a thousand years of history.”


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