Cherished by the Hopi, Navajo and Zuni peoples as the home of their ancestors, Wupatki pueblo north of Flagstaff, AZ. was build in the 1100’s after the eruption of the Sunset volcano. The volcano’s ashes retained moisture and made life easier in the area and by 1182 Wupatki was surrounded by several thousand people. Now a National Monument, 35,254 acres contain 2600 archeology sites.
P.S. Easy Rider fans know the camping scene was filmed on Wupatki’s roads.
Boom to Bust was the fate of Logan, a mining town in Nevada. It looked something like this when it was photographed in 1870. One hundred years later, a class project had an Arizona State University student photograph this exact spot. Not a building was left. However, out of view was an abandoned modern house, empty except for a religious magazine on a kitchen counter.
Did a few miners get rich? We will never know.
Red Barn is one of my favorite subjects. Standing close to the Pine, Arizona, Library, I have both painted and drawn it and made prints of it and the ancient tree standing next to it. I may have romanticized the barn and the tree but no matter what color the barn and tree are together.
P.S. Friends were trick-or-treating several years ago. When the front door of a beautiful, modern house opened; the first thing they noticed was “Red Barn” hanging on the wall.
“That’s a Barbara Lacy,” they said in unison. And the proud home owner said, “Yes, it is and we love it!”
Ancient City is based on the Hopi Village of Walpi, 300 feet above the desert floor in Northern Arizona. It has been continuously occupied since the 1100’s; current residents live like their ancestors with no running water or electricity. Of high importance to the Walpi residents are the religious values and clan relationships that have kept them a strong social unit for over 1000 years.
Stone Sanctuary is one of the thousands of cliff dwellings scattered throughout Arizona’s marvelous deep-walled canyons. It is hard to spot them; the pueblos are made of the stones around them. Can you imagine living in a small stone apartment high on canyon walls? You would have to be smart and tough to last in this environment.
Nestled Village is based on the wonderful cliff houses at Navajo National Monument in Northern Arizona. Our state is dotted with stone remnants of former residents. That the walls and Kivas are still standing 700 or more years after the residents left is a testament to their building skills.
Montezuma’s Castle was named by the Euro-Americans who discovered it in the 1860’s and thought that only the magnificent Aztez emperor could build the unique structure cut into a limestone cliff . Actually, the Pre-Columbian Sinagua Indians build the 20-room apartment-like building/fortress around 700 A.D. and abandoned it by 1425 A.D.. Archeologists are still trying to learn why the Sinagua left the area. What we know about them comes from the buildings and artifacts they left behind. The Monument so impressed President Theodore Roosevelt that he included it as one of the first four sites to be named a National Historical Monument in 1906.
You can visit Montezuma’s Castle as you are driving on Interstate 17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix. It is a delightful place for lunch. . .you need to bring your own picnic food!
For hundreds of years, hogans have sheltered Navajo families. Usually six-sided with walls made of Ponderosa Pine logs and an earth-packed roof, the door always faces East.
Meeting the rising sun with prayers is an important part of Navajo life.
Traditionally, Navajo’s lived in family compounds remote from other families. The move to Reservation towns has only come in the last 100 years.
Meeting by Moonlight. Window Rock, the Navajo Nation Capitol, is on the line between Arizona and New Mexico,and is named for this stunning sandstone formation which the Navajo’s called Perforated Rock. In 1936, the Bureau of Indian Affairs picked the spot for the Navajo Capitol; the intriguing Chapter House was built later.
In the 1970’s my family lived on the Navajo Reservation; five years in Tuba City and five in Window Rock. Our sandstone two-bedroom house, built by the WPA in 1936, was on the side of a cliff looking directly at the Window Rock. The girls played in the area, hiked over the top of the rock (probably forbidden today) and went to a Girl Scout sleep-out in front of it. A great time in our lives.