Mar 112009

In the picture above, you can see the holes where ceiling beams for pueblos built on the outside of the cliff were lodged, so that would have been ceiling level of the external pueblo. From there, one could step into a man-made cave. Notice, on the upper left of the highest cave entrance, there is a pictograph of man with a square head. There is another pictograph above the beam holes on the left side of the picture.

Looking back at the foundations of pueblos and clefts carved into the tufa to enlarge the rooms….pantries? closets?

Here I am at the edge of what is called the Alcove House. Alcove refers to the natural cleft in the cliff wall. We climbed 4 ladders to access it, as well as some steps carved into the stone. The stone feels hard to the touch, of course, but there were passages over the rock that had been depressed as much as three feet by the passage of visitors walking on the “tuff.” So it is soft!

This is a reconstructed Kiva. You can see the hole in the ceiling which serves an entrance. We all climbed inside…Who could resist? I’d like to do some research on the native inhabitants of these pueblos. I’m wondering why they wanted to have their ceremonies in a hole in the ground…..Since they were perfectly capable of constructing comfortable structures above the ground, what was it that made them want to worship from a pit? I don’t get it.

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  One Response to “Santa Fe, Third Installment”

  1. Aren’t the pueblos great?!! I think the Kivas are mostly in the ground because of the people’s origin stories. They came to this world from another level below this, and out from a hole in the ground called a Sipapu. There is a Sipapu in every Kiva, symbolic of that original portal. I think the whole Kiva is symbolic of the original hole, and also why they enter and leave through a hole in the roof.

    The Sipapu is accurate, the reasons are just my guess. And now that I have written this, you probably have already learned it from about 100 other readers. Anyway, thanks for the blog and your descriptions of your pueblo visit.

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