Sounds of an Ancient Culture

A rough dirt track follows the south side of the deep sandstone canyon. For a mile or so there had been little to see, just the beauty of the canyon and the occasional eroded ruin. It took over an hour to get to the end of the road.

As we rounded a corner, a sunburst illuminated the rust colored sandstone arch that protects the multi-room ruin. A stop for pictures was required. Stepping around the 4X4, white flecks in the dirt seemed out of place. Our guide picked one up; it was half of an ancient seed pot. The hillside was littered with the shards from the Pueblo civilization.

The first inhabitants of the cliff dwellings at Mummy Cave were called the Basket Makers, an early Anasazi culture. They were experts at wicker basketry, remnants of which were left in their dwelling and burial sites. The Pueblo people came next; then the Navajo. At one time, the Canyon de Chelly canyons were home to over 1,000 people. Farmland in the bottom of the Canyon has been cultivated by the Pueblo and Navajo for over 1,000 years – it is still farmed today.

The Navajo people respect the ancient sites. They know that spirits dwell in the ruins; spirits that shouldn’t be disturbed. They’ve heard them, felt them, and know to leave the ruins untouched. Unfortunately, others don’t have the same respect and fences must keep them away.

If you stop and listen, you can hear the sound of an ancient people. They are still here.

About rkcaton

We like to travel and even spent nine years roaming around North America in a 40 foot motorhome. We're now back in a home in Washington state roaming by car, air, and boat.
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