DER Documentary

Down To Earth – Adobe In New Mexico


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by Mark Freeman
color, 29 min, 1995




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This fascinating multidisciplinary social history investigates the contributions of New Mexico's diverse cultures to the state's unique architectural heritage. Today adobe is often associated with wealth and the "Santa Fe Style." But adobe architecture also continues to play a vital role in Native American and Hispanic cultures in New Mexico. Adobe is not just a building material. Its formal and structural elements cannot be divorced from its social, cultural, and environmental functions. Down to Earth explores the increasing pressures of tourism and development and illustrates the relationship between the environment of New Mexico and the continuity of cultural tradition.

A useful and informative classroom tool for demonstrating to students the important context that exists between adobe, people, and their traditions in the Southwest. — W. Brown Morton III, Chair, Historic Preservation, Mary Washington College
Those of us who have been sheltered by it know adobe walls are more than mud and straw.  Down To Earth is a beautiful way to understand this truth. — Tony Hillerman

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
ADOBE USA 2007: The Adobe Association of the Southwest's 4th International Conference, New Mexico

Additional Resources:
Adobe Architecture by Myrtle Stedman
Books on Adobe Buildings



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