Jul 15

The Chaco Road: A Pueblo Innovation

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The Chaco Canyon was once a cultural and industrial center for the ancient Puebloan people. Located in the San Juan Basin where the four corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet the Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves not only the remnants of an impressive culture but also a peculiar structure of roads known as the Chaco Road System.

These roads lead into and out of the canyon with branches to the great Continue reading »

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May 20

Pottery is an iconic and historically important part of Pueblo culture. The art of pottery began to flourish in Ancestral Puebloan communities around 500 AD, and each individual settlement had its own unique designs and traditional artwork. There are thousands of different variations of Pueblo pottery based on the source and color of the clay used, production techniques, region in which it was produced, and many other variables. Common artwork designs include rain, bodies of water, clouds, lightning, insects, and animals.

Ancient pottery was primarily used as food and water storage. When the Pueblo Continue reading »

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Mar 25

The Adobe Cliff Dwellings are some of the most remarkable attractions you’ll find in this country, however it pays to prepare before you take the trip. We’re not talking about locking up or getting a home security system from ADT Security Features, though those are certainly good ideas, we’re talking about culturally preparing.

You don’t need to be a historical scholar when it comes to the lives and languages of the ancient Native Americans, but it would help to know a thing or two about the people and their customs. Knowing what their daily lives were like and the kinds of challenges they were up against can help you gain some insight as far as what it took to create these marvelous dwellings.

A guided tour is also a must if you want to make the most of this trip. Not only will you get some inside info on the lives of these Native Americans, you might even get some access to areas that you otherwise might not be allowed to enter.

Above all else, remember to have an open mind and take lots of pictures. Bring a good camera because the cave dwellings are an experience not quite like any other – a definitive portal into the past.

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Mar 21

The ancient Pueblo people of the American Southwest left behind an amazing archeological record of their daily lives. Inhabiting houses constructed in natural rock shelters near the Four Corners area, the Pueblo used mesa tops and terraces for farming and employed dams and reservoirs to ensure a consistent supply of water. It is thought that the Pueblo arrived in the area encompassed by Mesa Verde National Park around 600 A.D. and left around 1300 after decades of severe Continue reading »

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May 30

Known today as the “Anasazi,” the ancient Pueblo people of the American Southwest emerged as a distinct culture around 1200 BCE and continued for over a thousand years, to 1300 CE. Their elaborate cliff dwellings and mastery of fired clay techniques are the primary characteristics used by anthropologists when classifying their culture.

The ancient Anasazi cities, called “pueblos,” were often built on precarious cliff ledges to aid in defense. At the first sign of trouble, inhabitants pulled ladders and climbing ropes away from the valley floor, thus thwarting any enemies from ascending to the village. Pueblo people constructed their buildings with Continue reading »

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May 18

The Roots of Pueblo Spiritual Practices

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Respect for all life is the focal point of the spiritual practices of the Pueblo native american. They feel a deep connection to the earth and its inhabitants which is illustrated through their attempts to live in harmony with those that share their space. Also they are appreciative people giving thanks for all that have been given to them.

Their spirituality permeates their lives and is expressed in many different ways. One of these includes unique dance rituals that celebrate fertility, not only in Continue reading »

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May 16

The Pueblo Indians were a tribe of some of the original Native Americans who lived for centuries on mountain cliffs making for themselves homes that most of us would consider a little dangerous just to climb back up to after a days work. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado has preserved some of the most elaborate and beautiful cliff homes of the Pueblo Indians known to exist in North America. These peoples lived in close-knit communities where they farmed on the tops of the mesas. Not much is known as to why, after hundreds of years, they chose to move away from the mesa lands and into other areas of the southwest but they left behind artifacts that give us a glimpse into their simple way of life. At the Mesa Verde ruins we are given the opportunity to see how this native tribe made doorways using stones stacked and molded into their frames. Modern architecture has replicated many of their ideas and designs in 20th century buildings and construction. Jewelry designs incorporating the use of silver and turquoise as used over one hundred years ago are still prized for their beauty. Their love of the Earth is made obvious to visitors of these ancestral homes.

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May 15

The sere, rugged, and supremely beautiful landscapes of the Colorado Plateau and the lower deserts of the American Southwest are, on the whole, sparsely populated today; indeed, certain swaths of them, protected by an almost unbelievable topographic severity or harsh climate, are among North America’s great wildernesses. Yet one of the most enigmatic characteristics of this windswept country is the ghostly evidence of former human settlements’ including now-vacant cliff dwellings.

We only know so much about the indigenous North Americans who constructed and lived in these dwellings hundreds of years past. Some of the most Continue reading »

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May 12

If you have ever visited the areas in the United States known to hold many pueblo cliff dwellings, you probably left there appreciating the ingenuity of the ancient peoples who once lived there. The cliff dwellings are primarily located in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The tribe of Indians who built these cliff dwellings in this area of the southwestern United States are called the Anasazi Indians, who existed from about 900 AD to about 1400 AD. Made largely from sandstone and adobe, the homes were built in Continue reading »

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