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Snow Owl September 2004


National Geographic
El Rito De Les Frijoles (Little Canyon of the Beans) New Mexico.

The honeycomb circlet in the foreground is the pueblo ruin of Tynouyi. This photograph was taken from the top of a cliff along whose base for three miles, stretches a series of talus pueblos, a type of dwelling also found in Chaco Canyon.


National Geographic
Baking Corn Cakes

These thin disks of bread, known as piki, form a staple of the diet of the Southwestern tribes. They are being cooked on a hot stone slab, just as the Bonitian housewives must have cooked them a thousand years ago.


National Geographic
Cliff Palace: Mesa Verde -

This most celebrated of Mesa Verde ruins is an example of a pueblo type in contrast to that of Bonito. The forgotton people of the Chaco found in canyon depths, a refuges which the Mesa Verde dwellers utilized a cliff to attain. A subterranean entrance was discovered to this palace of 200 rooms.


National Geographic
Modern amenities are welcome even in such conservative Hopi villages as Shipolavi (above and below), where neither television sets nor convenience foods have disrupted the old customs.
National Geographic
National Geographic

Naming the baby falls not to the parents but to other relatives. For 19 days the
The newborn is kept indoors. At dawn on the 20th day, the paternal aunts and grandmother gather at the brides mothers house. Each suggests a name for the child, and blesses him with a perfectly formed ear of corn, (above) called Mother Corn, dipped in corn meal and water.

At sunrise the mother and grandmother take the infant outside
And introduce him to the sun, an important deity.

National Geographic


Its a matter of balance, declared Alonzo Quavehema, a former member of the tribal council. We need both the traditional and the progressive views represented and they are. If it werent for the Council, which knows both our ways and the white mans ways, we would have been overrun by the whiteman.


National Geographic
Girl of the Oraibi, the metropolis of the Hopi.

Among the Hopis, famous for their snake dances, skill in weaving, dyeing and embroidery, and complex mythology, may be found lore which will provide clues to the Chaco people.


National Geographic
The Painted Desert - Arizona


National Geographic
Where Nature Upset Her Paint-Pot: Canyon De Chelly

Bright red sandstone cliffs, piercing the sky to heights ranging between that of the Washington Monument and of the Eiffel Tower, sheltered prehistoric people, probably of the same general period as those of Chaco Canyon. This most brilliantly colored of all canyons of the Southwest, lies in the heart of the Navajo Desert, northeastern Arizona.


National Geographic
Canyon De Chelly Monument Arizona

In the shadow at the base to the right, a cliff dwelling was found. On a ledge just above is a man, whose form is a tiny speck against this lone sentinel among the fantastic back drops of multihued canyon walls.


National Geographic
The scattered stones at the bottom of this leaning tower of Chaco are an enigma. They represent a nave effort to prop up a massive cube of solid rock on the part of these aboriginal engineers, who exhibited contrasting skill and acumen in the construction of Pueblo Bonito to the left.

National Geographic
Clearing the air before the wedding, the grooms family indulges in mock battles and good natured insults. The mother of the groom (above) manages a smile after the customary mud fight in the village plaza.

National Geographic
The grooms godfather cringes as relatives cut off locks of hair in a symbolic scalping.

National Geographic


During the traditional rites, which often come months after the civil ceremony, the bride and her daughter, wear robes woven by the grooms uncles. A bundle in the brides arms contains another robe, which she will save for her passage to the spirit world.



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