While in New Mexico in July we had three opportunities to experience different kinds the pueblos.
West of Albuquerque we visited pueblos that we built on top of a mesa, the Acoma pueblos. The Acoma pueblos, believed to be inhabited since the 12th century, are the oldest continually inhabited community in the U.S. It was very interesting how they could live on top of a big rock (370 feet above the desert floor). Not all the Acoma people live in the ancestral homes year round. Many come up from the neighboring town for ceremonial occasions.
Near Santa Fe we visited the pueblos in Bandelier National Monument. Not only did the Pueblo people have structures in the canyon valley, they inhabited the caves in the canyon walls. These canyons were formed when ash settled from massive nearby volcano. Large bubbles formed within the settled volcanic ash. When the canyons were formed by the eroding canyon walls, these bubbles became caves and were accessible for the Pueblo people to build upon and inhabit. The only things that exist are the ruins and it is not inhabited. It was interesting to see that they built up to three stories of housing structures up against the canyon wall.
Near Taos we experienced another pueblo, the Taos Pueblo inhabited by the Red Willow People. This pueblo was inhabited year round with many coming into the pueblo from nearby town.