Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 10, Wednesday, May 15, 2014: Chaco!

Word of the day is, of course, "Chaco."  We left Bernalillo about 7:30 AM heading for Chaco National Park.  North thru Cuba, almost to Nageezi, and turn off on a road that has a reputation for being very rough - I allowed 90 minutes for the 23 mile trip.  It turned out to be much improved, and it only took 30 minutes.

After a stop at the visitor center to register our presence and watch the video on relation with modern Pueblo groups.  Then we headed out to view Pueblo Bonito, Chetro Ketl & Hungo Pavi ruins.  The Chaco "great houses" were built in stages between the 9th & 12th centuries, and Pueblo Bonito is the largest & most central of them.  The amount of work that went into hauling the timber for vigas and other supports, from 75-100 miles away, plus all the rock work, must have taken a lot of people under some central direction.  Whether voluntary & religious or dictatorial we don't know.

Religion and other ceremonies were practiced in kivas, which could have belonged to one clan or totem or ???.  The great kiva, as shown here, is believed to have been more for community events.  They believe that many groups & languages and religious variations may have been present, something not unexpected since there are at least 7 languages in 5 groups known of today .

We also took a ranger guided tour of Una Vida, one of the earliest houses.  The ranger was very knowledgeable and a good story teller.   We left after about 6 hours on site in the sun, and headed for Cuba.  The Frontier Meal is nice &we had a good meal at El Bruno.  Tomorrow it's onto the Fennboree - no internet, no cell phone.  Will try to catch up Sunday night.

Leaving you with a picture of Sandra taking a picture of a kiva. 

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