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Anasazi

Quest for the Anasazi

 

   "Our only clues to their existence are what they left behind - homes deserted, desert walls etched with their symbols and art and the leftover things they used in their daily lives. It all amounts to the pieces of a giant jig saw puzzle, without a finished pattern to follow and not certain if we have all the pieces."
(
Quote with permission from Max Bertola)

 Anasazi

 

 

  

The Anasazi have been determined to be the ancestors of the Hopi and the word Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning "ancient people who are not us".  The Anasazi inhabited the dry land of the Colorado Plateau, primarily in the Four Corners area where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah converge.

Around 500 A.D., three major changes took place in their lives...the bow and arrow, pottery and the permanent pit house.  Agriculture became important.  Maize (corn), beans, and squash became a reliable food source.  The culture changed as they became bound to the soil.

Petroglyphs have provided insight into the Anasazi belief system.  Petroglyphs known as the Mother Earth symbol have been found near the Hopi villages of Oraibi,  Shipaulovi, and Walpi. These petroglyphs explain one of many of the Anasazi myths which have been passed down from one generation to another. This myth is known as the "Emergence Myth."  It symbolizes the Spirits, or Kachinas, emerging to this world through a small hole in the ground known as the sipapu. The actual sipapu is in a sacred place near the Little Colorado River close to the Grand Canyon.

 Another myth which has been passed down from generation to generation is the "Creation Myth" which tells about the creation of the earth.


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