Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tumacacori National Historical Park, Fiesta de Tumacacori, and Luminaria Nights at Tubac, AZ

Saturday, December 5, 2015

We decided today would be a good day to visit the Tumacacori National Historical Park. Besides seeing the park we would be able to enjoy the annual festival, Fiesta de Tumacacori.  In Tubac about 8 miles down the road and they had a their 32nd Luminaria Nights going on and it sounded like it would make for a nice evening.

The ride over to Tumacacori

Tumacacori National Monument was created in 1908. In 1916 the National Park Service took it over from the U.S. Forest Service. In 1990 Congress added the ruins of Calabazas and Guevavi missions, changing the name to the Tumacacori National Historical Park. There are not plans for restoration.

Entrance to the Tumacacori National Historical Park

In January of 1691 Father Eusebio Francisco Kino established Tumcacori as a mission, one day before Guevavi, making it the oldest mission site in Arizona. It was first established on the east side of the Santa Cruz River and was called San Cayetano de Tumacacori. Services were held in a small adobe structure built by the Pima inhabitants of the village. After the Pima rebellion of 1751, the mission was moved to the present site on the west side of the river and renamed San Jose de Tumacacori.

In 1776 King Charles III of Spain, for political reasons, abruptly banished the Jesuits from all his realm. The Franciscans then took over.

This church was not the first structure. It was being built to replace the modest Jesuit structure. Work was begun in 1800 and continued until about 1820. They wanted something to match the frontier baroque glory of the celebrated Mission San Xavier del Bac not far to the north. Lack of funds was the biggest obstacle and when it was abandoned in 1848 it had not been completed.

This room was located under the bell tower.

The center picture is believed to be what the Sanctuary
looked like when finished.
The four side pictures are what can be seen today.

Niche were a statue would
have been.

Walls today.

Looking at arch and ceiling
from sanctuary.

Where the altar would have stood.

Stairs leading out of sacristy
into the sanctuary.

The round Mortuary Chapel had not been completed
when the mission was abandoned.

The ruins of what was a two level storeroom.
A blooming plant along the inside wall.

This was the 45th annual Tumacacori Festival. It is held each year on the first weekend in December.
There were crafts for sale, demonstrations of  O'odham basket weaving, ceremonial dances, entertainment, and food booths.

A few pictures taken during the festival.
A M&M piƱata waiting for the children.
Big Field Traditional Singers and Dancers from Sells had
invited festival goers to join in.
Tom walking back with a treat of fry bread to share.

I am not sure what the three pictures above are of. There was
nothing in the brochures, we were given, that included
these structures. I could not find any information online
but still wanted to include them.

Not wanting people to touch the
actual ruins they provide a sample
of adobe to touch outside
of the museum.

Game played by O'odham children.

View from Shelby's Bistro Patio. We had an early dinner
here. Once the sun started to go down they began lighting
the luminaries and we had entertainment.

Tubac founded in 1752 was the first European Settlement in Arizona. Today it is said to be a growing artist colony and does have several artist galleries among the many shops. Tonight, after dusk, the streets and sidewalks between the shops where lined with luminaries both electric and candles. Some shops even had them placed on their roof tops. It was quite festive and you could hear Christmas music as you walked between the shops. Plus, shoppers were offered coffee and cookies in just about every shop. A horse drawn wagon offered rides up and down the streets. We have been to this sort of place many times before but tonight with the luminaries flickering in the dark it made it seem somewhat magical. I kept thinking big fluffy snowflakes lazily coming down would have been the perfect addition to the night. I admit it after many winters of snow, though I do not miss the cold or trudging through it, there are times I miss the big white flakes coming down connected to the Christmas Holidays. Though watching the weather back home it does not look like they are going to have much of the "white stuff" for Christmas either.

"If you want to understand today,
you have to search yesterday."
                                           ~Pearl Buck

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