Every time I go up to Mesa Verde,which literally frames the south side of the Montezuma valley where I live, I am amazed that these ancient people "Modified" the deep alcoves hidden in the walls of canyons, into homes.
As the park rangers are going on about their religious purposeful lives, hidden away from their enemies, I am think about how in the world would you watch a tobbler, when ten feet out side your door is a 100 foot drop off. Things like,knowing mom and kids and chores, I would be sending my kids every morning, down the steep path to the springs to get water, and then up the steep trail they would have to lug that water.
These illustration were really fun, I have done extensive research on Mesa Verde, have a picture book and a novel about the first tourist that came to see the
Ghost Cities" hidden on the cliffs, hidden away in my head- yes.... I know they do no good there and need to get out, and yes am still working on the novel about Polygamy in Utah- more then half way!
It was hardly work looking over photos of Edward Curtis, one of the few photographers who came west in the 1800 to document the "Indian Tribes" that were disappearing.
Obviously the Anasazi, Navajo for "Ancient Enemy" or Ancestral Puebloean,had disappeared, Curtis's photographs, being one of the first whites to come into the pueblos of the Rio Grande area in New Mexico, where one theory has the Anasazi relocating to after they left Mesa Verde, gave me hints of their dress and traditions.
Also Gustaf Nordenskiold, a Swedish tourist turned archaeologist is responsible along with the Wetherill brothers, cowboys and ranchers turned guides and archaeologist, for trying to scientifically excavate the ruins of Mesa Verde while others were ransacking them for pots. The pots, jewelery and white arm band are artifacts found by the them the summer of 1891.
The scientiftic stuff is needed, but I guess I think like a writer and try and imajine the daily lives of these people and have to believe that people are people, mothers are mothers, fathers are fathers, and kids are kids- whether now or over 800 years ago when the Ancients "Modified" these cliffs into homes.