Friday, July 20, 2012

Canyon de Chelly

The day after visiting the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, we moved on to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.  Pronounced de Shay.  In addition to the beauty of these several canyons, we learned of the historical significance of this area to the Navajo Nation.

This settlement, seen from Mummy Cave Overlook, was occupied to about 1300 AD.

Junction Ruin

From the Antelope House overlook

From the Junction overlook

Humans have lived in these canyons for 5,000 years. Must have signed a long term lease.  They moved away about 700 years ago, probably got tired of the commute up 1,000' walls.  The Navajo eventually settled here, and still farm the land in the canyon.

We met several of the local artisans at the various overlooks.  And bought these two lovely works painted on stones from the canyon.  The artist explained the significance of symbols.  In particular, he said that the larger figure is the Kopokelli who farms the land in the canyon.  You do not see him depicted outside the reservation.

Well worth a visit.

PS To see a full slideshow of the pics from this trip, including the prior day at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, click this link  Full slide show


Sandy said...

Wow The Canyon was one of our favorites. We were there during Easter I think 2009? I baught a necklace fron the artist in the visitor center. And I'll never forget the cows & horses roaming in the parking lot of town :-)

palamine said...

Sorry took me until now to find this. Great pictures. Glad you are having a good time.

Joel said...

Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.