Puebloan Ceremonial Kiva – Aztec National Monument

This is an ancient Pueblo Kiva that was used for community gatherings and religious ceremony in the old days and is still considered to be sacred to modern Pueblo people. The site is located in the heart of Farmington, New Mexico.  This was a very hard image to capture with the low-light and all the traffic coming and going through the Kiva. In the old days, there were no stairs into the Kiva. You have to descend down a latter through an entrance in the ceiling or a window. The Kiva served as a church and I try to show respect when I visit such sites.

Evil Waters, Parowan Valley – Utah

Parowan stands for Evil Waters according to the Southern Paiute. This is the Little Salt Lake in Parowan Valley of Southwestern Utah. Back in the long ago, it was said that a man-eating monster lived out there. Who knows? This is just what I heard. Every time I venture out across the Parowan Valley, there’s strange things to be found.

Richardson’s Cash & Pawn, Gallup, New Mexico

Richardson's Cash & Pawn, Gallup, New Mexico
I don’t know whether a company like this is beneficial to Indian people (artisans, weavers, jewelers & such) or is more of an exploiter of Native culture? I’m not accusing them of such, but this isn’t even one of those questionable non-profit organizations “dedicated” to preserving Indian culture. When scrutinizing these companies that capitalize on Indian arts & crafts, you have to wonder just how much they contribute to the greater health of both native and non-native people in New Mexico, Arizona, etc? Maybe their appearance and existence is just the continuation of the same colonialism that subjugated and destroyed indigenous cultures in the wake of westward expansion? The hearsay is that Gallup is one of the most bigoted towns in New Mexico against Indians. The town itself is in close proximity to several native communities…

Cleopatra Pictograph Panel

Cleopatra Pictograph Panel
All the locals around Canyonlands call this, Cleopatra. It’s one of my favorite pictographs, right off the Highway on your way to Hite Crossing in Glen Canyon. This style of rockart is known as the Barrier Canyon Style which is some of the oldest rockart in the state of Utah dating about 5,000-8,000 years back. I’m guessing the creature next to Cleopatra is a domesticated dog? Dogs may have played important roles in ancient Western Archaic cultures.

Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation

Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round… The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours…

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” – Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man, 1863-1950

The Intestine Man

The Intestine Man
Intestine Man Pictograph near Moab, Utah. This is one of the oldest rock art panels in the state known as the Barrier Canyon style of pictography. Other similar sites are found in the Canyonlands and Grand Canyon regions of the Southwest. These sites were left by a hunting and gathering culture referred to as the Western Archaic peoples.