Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mesa Verde, Colorado

When we left the dye workshop stopped and to explore the Anasazi (meaning ancient ones)ruins in Mesa Verde, Colorado. These Native Americans lived in the Southwest 1400 years ago and lived in the cliff dwellings for around 100 years. No one knows for sure why they left but it is believed they became part on the Hopi and many other Native American tribes. Mesa Verde has some of the largest cliff dwellings. Their tucked high into cliffs for protection from enemies and the weather. The parks now has special trails made for the public to hike in.

Close up of one of their kivas where they would have had their sacred ceremonies, pray for rain, luck in hunting, healing rites, good crops and also as a gathering place to weave. The hole is where a fire would have been.

This is how the kiva would look with its' roof in place and the ladder for climbing in and out. Notice the shape of the doors, T shape, one ranger told us they think it was so young children wouldn't fall out. (It still looks pretty big to me).
They have a wonderful museum with beautiful displays of the artifacts that have been found in their garbage dump (they threw everything they didn't want over the cliff in the front of their dwellings). The Anasazi are accomplished potters, I love this piece of pottery with a horn lizard (nicknamed horny toad) painted on.

And the real horn lizard. When we were collecting sage for the dye pots hidden under a plant was a live horn lizard.

Another great pottery shard with pictograph's painted on.

I don't know if you can read the card but it says they found this corn in a vessel buried in a cave and the corn dates back 7 centuries.

They also have a beautiful display of Navajo rugs dating from the 1800's.

There's not much detail to see photographing through glass, just the wonderful colors and design.

We spent the night at the campground near the dwellings, there are many thistle in the area, they are not native to the area but spreading fast.

And this is how it spreads! The seeds blow with the wind.


Deb H said...

What a beautiful, ancient, place. Thanks for the pictures. Maybe some day I'll actually get to visit there.

T said...

These dwellings are incredible Kathy. I love the way that they created their space in the side of the cliff. And the pottery and rugs are exquisite. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Melodie said...

That is a trip worth planning~ I'd like to see that area in person.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, I love these photos! I remember the caves and Mesa Verde from when we went to Colorado on our family vacation. They look exactly as I remember them! I loved hiking down there and touring around and hiking all the way back up. I remember small and steep stairs and you could see them go on and on. Just beautiful!

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