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Title: Frijoles: A Hidden Valley in the New World
Author: Hendron, Jerome William
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                    A Hidden Valley in the New World


                             J. W. Hendron

                              _Edited by_
                             DOROTHY THOMAS

                             _Drawings by_
                             JOCELYN TAYLOR


                   _Copyright, 1946, by J. W. Hendron
                          All rights reserved.
  Manufactured by The Rydal Press, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A._


                    A Hidden Valley in the New World

                              THE POTSHERD

  To a layman like me it helps a lot
  To know a potsherd is just a piece of broken pot;
  To know, behind the talk of color, shade, design,
  It helped a hungry aborigine to dine;
  To see in this broken bit of clay
  A brown-skinned baby, clumsy at his play
  Cuffed by a weary mother, and whimpering so
  Because he broke a dish a thousand years ago!
                                                          Hugh M. Miller

                        By special permission of
                         _New Mexico Magazine_.
                          Printed June, 1936.


My grateful acknowledgements are due to Dr. H. P. Mera and Mr. Stanley
Stubbs of the Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, for their expert
advice and criticism in their respective fields; Dr. Leslie Spier,
Professor of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, for his helpful
suggestions; the late Professor Lansing B. Bloom, Professor of History,
University of New Mexico, for helpful information on history; Mrs.
Evelyn C. Frey, Bandelier National Monument; Mrs. M. H. Sharp, for the
many hours she gave to patient listening and constructive suggestion;
Mr. Wayne Mauzy, Museum of New Mexico, for permission to use photographs
and cuts; Mr. Natt Dodge, Region Three Office, National Park Service,
for his helpful suggestions and time spent in obtaining cuts; my Mother,
Mrs. J. H. Hendron, for her encouragement and assistance; and to all
others who rendered services.

                             _For my wife_
 who made this book possible by her patient listening and constructive

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

  CHAPTER                                                            PAGE
  I. Some Twenty Years Ago                                             1
  II. The Pueblo Indian Meets The White Man                            6
  III. Tyuonyi                                                        18
  IV. Building In The Great Period                                    32
  V. Living In The Great Period                                       55
  VI. Cliff Dwellers Again                                            66
  VII. The Spanish Era                                                76
  VIII. Present Times                                                 79
    Source Material                                                   83
    Glossary                                                          85
    Index                                                             90


Because of my association with the beautiful Canyon of the Rito de Los
Frijoles in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, and because of my
deep interest in this Monument, the loose ends of a story, about the
primitive people who made it their home, have been shaping themselves
into a history beginning in America long before either Spaniards or
Englishmen came to this country.

The material is based upon the work of many students who have done
actual research in Frijoles Canyon and adjacent areas. It is a
combination of legendary material, observation, speculation, scientific
fact and logic. The text in the following pages is not presented as
absolute and unquestionable fact in its entirety, and the author does
not intend that it be interpreted that way. There will be some, no
doubt, who, for the sake of convenience, will mutter indiscreetly about
its content—that it isn’t scientific—as if the book had been intended
for the exact scientist. Rather, it is meant for the lay reader who
visits the Monument area and who would like to understand some of the
customs and ways of life of its ancient inhabitants. This ancient world
of the cliff dweller of New Mexico is recreated for the visitor through
the firing of his imagination by an understanding of the archæological
facts revealed here.

Until a great amount of research is done, a more accurate account of the
archæology of this area will not be had. But because of the thousands of
visitors to Bandelier National Monument each year, and their interest in
its ancient inhabitants, this popular narrative is presented. Throughout
the text are many uncommon words and names used frequently in New
Mexico. The reader will find a helpful list of these with simplified
pronunciations and meanings at the end of the book.

                    A HIDDEN VALLEY IN THE NEW WORLD

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                             FACING PAGE
  Looking Up the Canyon From Ceremonial Cave                         xvi
  The Old North Trail                                                  1
  Bandelier National Monument and Vicinity                             8
  The Painted Cave                                                    14
  Stone Lions of Cochiti                                              15
  Ruins of Long House                                                 30
  A Part of Long House Ruins                                          31
  Artist’s Restoration of Puwige                                      42
  Aerial View of Puwige.—Restored                                     43
  Ceremonial Cave                                                     44
  Kiva in Ceremonial Cave                                             45
  A Section of Long House                                             60
  Reconstructed Cliff House                                           60
  Ruins of Puwige                                                     61
  Ruins of Large Kiva                                                 61
  The Author at an Old Hidden Trail                                   76
  A Party of Visitors at Long House                                   77

                              (in pocket)

  Large Kiva. Ground Plan
  Large Kiva. Section Drawings
  Ceremonial Cave. Ground Plan
  Ceremonial Cave. Section Drawings
  Ground Plan of Frijoles Canyon. Ruins Area
  Northern Wall of Frijoles Canyon



                               CHAPTER I
                         Some Twenty Years Ago

It has been some twenty odd years since I, as a child, first peered over
the north rim of Frijoles Canyon. This was not so long ago when one
thinks of the hundreds of others, still alive, who passed this way
before me. I do not pretend to be an ancient but the number of
individuals who saw the Frijoles in those days are microscopic when
compared with the multitudes who have seen it since. There is not
sufficient room here to discuss those who knew the place in the early
days, long before my time, except to mention such personages as Adolph
Bandelier, Charles Lummis, H. P. Mera, Edgar L. Hewett, Sylvanus G.
Morley, A. V. Kidder, Jesse Nusbaum, Kenneth Chapman and many others who
have distinguished themselves in the field of archæology or related
fields. They all knew the place in its infancy, so to speak, and have
contributed their share to the story of primitive Pueblo Indians who
lived in the Valley of the Rito de Los Frijoles in times anterior to the
coming of the Spanish.

As I remember it, there was a short-cut road into the Frijoles, little
more than a cow path which left the Albuquerque-Santa Fe highway just on
top of La Bajada Hill. It must have been fifteen miles across La Bajada
Mesa west to the Rio Grande. Over the rolling hills of mesa-land the
gears of our car ground a good part of the way in low until the little
settlement of Buckman on the banks of the Rio Grande was reached. A man
by this name, Buckman, used to cut and haul timber from the high
potreros; he built a sawmill, and also a narrow bridge across the river
here. It was a rickety old bridge with planks for runners but we got
across. The winding, bumpy road led us up a steep climb from the Rio
Grande to the forested land extending toward the high mountains. Once on
top the mesa we drove between two of many high potreros and on into
Water Canyon where the road followed the narrow valley for a few miles.
We crossed a winding creek several times and drove through green
pastures until the high-walled canyon became narrow.

Presently, the road turned to the left winding up the side of the
mountain. Fortunately it was not muddy or we might never have made the
steep grade. Once on top of the plateau the road headed south and a
little west in the direction of Frijoles Canyon a few miles distant. We
wound through majestic yellow pines, piñons and scrubby junipers. Here
the road turned again and paralleled the Canyon for a few miles, up and
down hills, ever twisting and turning. We drove to the top of an old
trail which might have been used by ancient Indians some four hundred
years ago. I walked to the brink of the Canyon, my mother constantly
reminding me not to go too near. The height was terrific. It must have
been six hundred feet to the bottom of the gorge—almost straight down.
It made me dizzy. I had never seen such a thing before in all my life.
It was to me a Hidden Valley and I wondered why any people wanted to
come away out here to live—even prehistoric Indians. Of course, it was
awe-inspiring but I was too young to be inspired.

There were saddle horses at the brink of the Canyon for folk who
couldn’t or who were too lazy to walk down the trail. And then there
were benches and tables underneath the pines for picnickers who wanted
to eat either before they began the long descent into the valley, or
after they returned from it. For years and years people walked or rode
horseback up and down the steep old trail. Perhaps some never reached
the bottom. Individuals came from all over the world. Some painted, some
viewed, some fished, some wrote and some prayed to God that they might
make it back to the top. Others, enthralled by the grandeur of the
Canyon, desired to cast themselves off its rim into the mystery of its
depth. I myself distinctly remember climbing down that old winding trail
from the north rim. It seemed that we would never reach the bottom. The
trail was a precipitous one, zigzagging and narrow, to the valley floor
far below.

At a short distance across the narrow Rito we could see a little stone
ranch house surrounded by huge pine trees and box-elders. A woman was
standing on the porch probably wondering if we were to be guests for the
night at the famous “Ten Elder Ranch.” But my father and I were fishing
for mountain trout, and, if I remember correctly, it was he who caught
the limit because he was the fisherman, not I. I might have been
included among those unschooled people who had in their blood simply the
desire for “pioneering” and “roughing-it,” but who understood little
about what they saw.

This excursion of ours took place when roads in New Mexico were almost
nil. A buckboard would have been better than an automobile with high
pressure tires which blew out about twice a day. We broke an axle on the
way home and had to spend the night on La Bajada Mesa between the Rio
Grande and the highway in what was locally known as “Old Man Pankey’s
Pastures.” The Valley of the Frijoles impressed me, then a little boy,
and, I well remember the hundreds of smoke-blackened caves hewn out of
the soft cliffs by Indians sometime in the dim past. But I knew not the
significance of these caves. I knew nothing of the story of how
prehistoric Indians lived four hundred years ago. They were merely
blackened holes to me occupied by a people about whom I knew little. I
remember the ruins of the big community house. It was located across the
little river from the stone ranch house. I thought it foolish for
Indians to build houses out in the sun when there were so many shade
trees close to the Rito. I now believe that this first visit of my
childhood created within me the desire to solve for myself the questions
then arising in my mind concerning the Canyon. Since that time hundreds
of famous personages have passed this way: artists, archæologists,
doctors, botanists, psychologists, statesmen, preachers, governors,
engineers, students and romancers, each finding satisfaction in his own
particular line of interest.

Life in this place two decades ago can best be described by the owner of
the old ranch, Mrs. Evelyn C. Frey, who has made Frijoles Canyon her
home for twenty odd years. She can tell some very interesting stories
about the early days. She knows the country and the trails, the flowers
and the birds; and she still calls folks, who live thirty miles away,
her neighbors. She recalls many lonely hours spent with her baby in the
stillness of the Canyon. She remembers how the sun would go down over
the south cliff at twelve noon and then how the day would change toward
cold evenings and bitter winter nights. Ofttimes a howling wind would
arise, then followed a calm, and in the morning a foot of deep snow. And
there was no way out of the valley except over the old north trail. She
tells how deer pranced around in full view, unafraid. Wild turkeys
rested upon the wall behind the old ranch place and could be seen from
her kitchen window. But she was never afraid and said she knew how to
use a six-shooter if she had to. Mrs. Frey had told me many times, how,
after a rough and tiresome drive from Santa Fe over fire trails, all
supplies were packed on horses and mules and brought down to the floor
of the Canyon.

A heavy pack mule, once upon a time, loaded with lumber, just didn’t
make one of the sharp turns in the trail. It dropped one hundred fifty
feet and went to mule heaven, bumping from first one level to another,
lumber and all. The carcass was left for the scavengers of the air to
feast upon. Mrs. Frey has described how she often bundled her tiny baby
up in blankets to protect it from the cold on bitter winter nights, and,
bearing the child in her arms she herself had swung into the saddle at
the top of the old trail. The narrow path was covered with snow all the
way down, and although she was afraid, the faithful horse had always
carried them safely to their home.

The time came when pack horses were replaced by a cable-way strung from
the north cliff to the floor of the Canyon. It was a thousand feet long
and the tram-car was operated by a gasoline engine. This was the way
supplies were brought in for the operation of the dude ranch—even the
winter’s supply of wood. It was not until 1933 that the old trail was
abandoned. At this time an automobile road was blasted from the side of
the steep cliff in the lower end of Frijoles Canyon.

The history, if written, might prove far more interesting to many people
than the prehistory. There would be some interesting tales to tell about
folk and their affairs, but our main concern is with the prehistory. I
do not think I exaggerate the situation when I say, despite a visitor’s
interest or profession, most guests have come to Frijoles to visit the
hundreds of ruins of homes built by the ancestors of some of our
present-day Pueblo Indians. The Canyon and its extensive cliff dwellings
and pueblo ruins are well-known the world over. Neolithic people, stone
age people with implements of bone and stone and wood, lived here in
ancient times and when they deserted their homes in the cliffs and on
the valley floor, they left one of the most outstanding and spectacular
sites in the southwestern part of America to be preserved for posterity.

                               CHAPTER II
                  The Pueblo Indian Meets the White Man

Could there be, in the Southwest, a man or woman who has not heard
something of the Spanish expeditions into the New World during the
sixteenth century? And, narrowing it down, about Coronado’s famed Seven
Cities of Cibola and how they turned out to be six instead of seven poor
little pueblos of stone and mud. They are now reduced to but one called
Zuñi. Marcos de Nisa, a Franciscan friar, had led the little army of
conquerors to nothing here except grief and disappointment in trade for
fabulous stories about gold and silver.

New Mexico was a new country and besides extending the domain of His
Majesty, King Charles, and forcing Christianity on the Indians, there
were many wonders that would stand investigation. Had it not been for an
Indian who was named Bigotes by the Spaniards, the conquerors might
never have reached the Rio Grande during that expedition. Bigotes means
“whiskers” and his appearance must have been a sight to His Majesty’s
soldiers when this half-clad native came strolling into their camp with
a few companions from Pecos far to the east. Unlike most of his kind,
Bigotes wore a long mustache. He had brought buffalo hides to trade to
the Spanish and he persuaded them to visit his country. It was on August
29, 1540, that the little band pushed out under the guidance of Bigotes.
On September 7 of that year they reached the Province of Tiguex, which
was between the present towns of Albuquerque and Bernalillo.

There were twelve Indian villages on the banks of the Rio Grande within
a distance of some fifteen miles or so. The Rio Grande was described by
the Spanish, at that time, as large and mighty in a spacious valley two
leagues wide. Although the valley was broad and fertile, the Spanish
description was certainly an over-estimation. Two leagues equalled five
or six miles. They also said that the river froze so hard that laden
animals and carts could cross over it. Tiguex was the winter camp of the
entire Spanish expedition. It was here that Coronado and his band of
weary and disappointed explorers spent that miserable and
never-to-be-forgotten winter of 1540-1541. Glowing accounts of how
Indians lived were told by the romantic Spanish chroniclers. Still, they
found only a poor simple people living by the soil and a little
hunting—but no gold.

Tiguex was not the only province along the river. There were others
whose people had the same ways and peculiar customs as the people at the
Tiguex villages. One of these provinces was that of Quirex. It has been
determined that this was the district where the Keres language is spoken
today by five very primitive Indian Pueblos. They are Cochiti, Santo
Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana and Sia. Moved by an indomitable spirit
and determination, a small band of soldiers pushed far north from
Tiguex, past the Keres-speaking villages where another province was
discovered on the upper Rio Grande. It was reported that two very fine
villages were to be seen. According to some students these were in the
vicinity of the present Tewa-speaking village of San Juan. The entire
Indian population moved out at the sight of the Spanish. They retreated
into the mountains where they said they had four very strong villages in
a rough country where it was impossible for the Spanish to follow on
horseback. Had they followed these people they would, no doubt, have
found almost inaccessible Indian trails. Instead, they returned to
Tiguex and left this northern province in peace. Little did the Spanish
realize what extensive villages they might have seen in the rough
mountains mentioned by the Indians.

Indians also spoke of villages on rivers flowing into the Rio Grande.
Could these villages have been on the banks of the Rio Chama or were
they on the Pajarito Plateau? They likely were in the Pajarito region
and could have been the same villages mentioned by the Indians living
near San Juan. But the towns of the Pajarito remained unexplored,
unplundered and unstripped of what little they had. How fortunate were
these people to have escaped the attentions of the Spanish with their
shining armor, pointed lances and firearms. Otherwise, these poor
Indians might have found themselves without adequate clothing and food
for the approaching winter of 1541-1542 as did the Indians at Tiguex.
But the passing of that second uneventful winter by disheartened and
spirit-broken Spanish soldiers ended a chapter which was never to be
forgotten by the other little pueblo dwellers. In the spring of 1542,
the remnants of the Spanish were gathered together and the return to
Mexico was begun. This must have been a day of rejoicing for the Indians
at Tiguex. They had experienced a great deal. Murder, insincerity on the
part of the Spanish, and violation of their living standards were just a
few of their trials.

Life went on in the pueblos. Slowly but surely the Indians reorganized.
Summers and winters passed and the Indians tilled their fields of corn
for two generations before the Spanish came again. This next expedition
up the Rio Grande in 1581 was that of Captain Francisco Sanchez
Chamuscado with nine soldiers. This combined treasure-hunt and
missionary expedition ended in tragedy. Chamuscado died before he
returned to Mexico, and two padres, who accompanied the little party,
were murdered by the Indians at Tiguex. So elated were the Indians with
their success that they drew pictures of the killings.


Dreams of conquest and fabulous empires caused the launching of still
another expedition into New Mexico in 1583. It was headed by Antonio de
Espejo. Espejo, too, passed northward from the villages of the Province
of Tiguex which had been visited by Coronado some forty years before and
by Chamuscado in 1581. This little handful went north to a place called
Cachiti. This was one of the pueblos of the Keres-speaking group
mentioned by Coronado. People who were peaceful came from other pueblos
and tried to persuade the Spanish to go with them. They told stories of
most of the houses being three stories high. The Spanish named this
place Los Confiados because the people were not disturbed. But where was
Los Confiados? It has never been determined.

It would be a guess to say where these other Indians came from. It has
been suggested that they might have come from villages on the Jemez
River when they heard of the arrival of the Spanish. There is still
another explanation which is also conjectural but possible. These people
could have come from villages in the mountains. Archæologists and
historians are unable to give us the exact extent of the Keres villages
in those days although careful study and research suggest that only
seven remained extant at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Yet, who can
say that towns were not still being occupied back in the hills? On the
forested mesa tops and in the deep water-worn canyons northwest of
Cachiti, the Indian Pueblo known today as Cochiti, are hundreds of
Indian villages now in ruins. They were occupied, hundreds of years ago,
by Indians who were probably speaking the Keres language like the folks
at Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana and Sia. These people
have told some interesting tales, legends mostly, about how all their
present villages came to be: about their wanderings, about their Gods
and about their troubles with Indians who spoke different languages.

Why was it that Espejo’s chroniclers did not leave us more information
about the town of Los Confiados and its people? Was it not important?
They told us about Zuñi and its Seven Cities, about the Tiguex villages
and Cochiti. Coronado’s little group, some forty years before, had
visited the Province of Hemes, now Jemez, whose people spoke yet another
language, the Towa. And history tells us that Espejo made a two-day
visit to the town of Los Confiados in 1583. This ended his contact with
the Indians at Cochiti and other Keres-speaking villages. Could it be
that Espejo’s soldiers looked back up into those forbidden and forested
hills against a high range of snow-covered mountains northwest of
Cochiti and decided that they had seen enough of the Indian? Or were
they told that they would have to leave their horses behind and go afoot
if they wanted to visit the villages on streams running into the Rio
Grande? The thought of wearing heavy armor might not have been too
fascinating. And if these people were from villages in the mountains,
what was their motive in attempting to lead the Spanish there? Was it a
trap? Did they have some other motive in mind, or was their mission one
of peaceful intent? Archæologists now tell us that it probably has been
centuries since Keres-speaking people lived in these mountains northwest
of Cochiti.

If one had sufficient imaginative ability he might work up a
hypothetical case of what could possibly have taken place during this
February of 1583. To get at the basis of our story and the things to be
talked about hypothesis seems to be our only recourse. Nothing seems
exact when dealing with early New Mexican history, but this hypothesis
could be as correct, possibly, as some of the accounts given by the
Spanish possessed of romanticism. But how close were the explorers to
Hidden Valley, the like of which they would never again be able to see!
They stayed clear of the mountains and kept to the valleys. In all of
their travels and wanderings, the Spanish kept out of the watershed
between the Jemez Mountain Range and the Rio Grande Valley. It is today
known as the Pajarito (little bird) Plateau. The Cañada de Cochiti is
its southern boundary, not far from the pueblo of Cochiti. The Rio
Grande bounds it on the east, the Rio Chama on the north and the Jemez
Mountains on the west. The entire plateau is made up of deposits of soft
volcanic ash, known as tuff, and deposits of black basalt. Geologists
tell us that all this happened an inconceivably long time ago—three
million years, let us say, in geological times known as the Pliocene and
Pleistocene periods.

Today the Pajarito Plateau is a profusion of high potreros (narrow mesas
), and deep canyons cut by streams and arroyos which carry off seasonal
rains. Some of the canyons have sheer vertical cliffs of volcanic ash,
hundreds of feet high in places, and this ash is soft enough to be
carved and hewn into various shapes and forms. The cliffs are even soft
enough for the wind to carve what appear to be statues which stand out
as exceptional works of nature. The mesa tops are beautiful. They are
covered with thick growths of pine and juniper, piñon and scrub oak. A
profusion of flowers dot the landscape during the summer months.

It was the Pajarito Plateau that both Coronado and Espejo failed to
plunder, not because of any lack of desire on their part, perhaps, but
because it was a forbidden land to them and was marked by defying cliff
boundaries which rose to terrific heights. Could one say that the
Spanish did not wonder what these hills possessed when they heard about
villages on streams which ran into the Rio Grande? And no doubt, if
these peaceful people, whom the Spanish followed to Los Confiados, were
of the Keres nation—and they likely were—then they knew every valley,
stream, trail and water hole in the Pajarito country. Espejo dispatched
some of his men to accompany these Indians. Where were they led? Did
they go up into the sandy foothills below the Jemez Mountains and its
finger-like plateaus or did they penetrate almost inaccessible territory
northwest of Cochiti? Or did they march straight north up the almost
inaccessible White Rock Canyon of the Rio Grande? They were gone two
days from the pueblo of Cochiti. Where did they go? Where was this town
of Los Confiados to which Espejo was invited and about which he gave us
no fact?

The Keres-speaking people are possessed with legends of having been
driven from the Pajarito by a race of “dwarfs” at some time in the
remote past. But no one is sure that this race of “dwarfs” was not the
Tewa-speaking people from the northern part of the Pajarito region who
descended into Frijoles Canyon and drove the Keres from their Hidden
Valley long before the Spanish came to America. Nor can one be certain
that Keres people were not still living in Frijoles Canyon with the
Tewas during Coronado’s time in 1540 or even some forty years later
during Espejo’s time. Could one go so far as to suggest that Keres
groups still remembered how their ancestors perhaps had been driven from
their homes by “the little strong people” and that now they could have a
well-earned revenge by directing the attentions of the Spanish toward
the Valley of the Frijoles?

Had Espejo been gullible enough, and had the spirit of adventure been
strong enough; had it been summer and not February, and had these
peaceful Indians been Keres bent on revenge against the Tewas, his
soldiers might have been led northwest up the Cañada de Cochiti. After
an hour or so the trail would have become so difficult that the Indian
method of travel would have been an issue. Horses would have been left
behind and the little party would have ascended to the potrero tops on
foot; over snow-covered precipitous trails; up and down canyon walls and
deep into ancient Keres land.

It would have been no “picnic” even on foot. So rough is the country it
is even doubted that the wily Navaho used these trails as has been so
often suggested. The Keres might have picked a more direct route; up the
banks of the Rio Grande to the mouth of Capulin Canyon, over high
potreros, following a dim rough trail which skirted the Rio Grande for
several miles then north to the mesa bordering Frijoles Canyon. And it
is quite possible that the Spanish could have gone horseback deep into
Keres territory, up Capulin Canyon to La Cueva Pintada, the Painted
Cave. The cave gets its name from the many pictographs on its walls.
Around it are the ruins of many houses built against the cliff at the
top of the talus slope. Some of the Indian legends have it that the
Painted Cave was one of six towns occupied when their ancestors were
driven from the Valley of the Frijoles.

Travel from the Painted Cave on into Keres land probably would have been
on foot. Up the rough Capulin Canyon [** Error: possible line-wrapped
glossary phrase]for an hour’s march, over snow-covered potrero tops,
they would have passed the ruins of innumerable villages. There they
might have rested and drunk the icy water from a running creek during
this cold month of February. And from there they made their way up to
the potrero tops again, winding and twisting, half walking and half
climbing and stopping somewhere, in a cave perhaps, to spend the night.
And then they marched on to the pueblo of the Stone Lions, now bleak and
desolate and worn by time. The pueblo of the Stone Lions, according to
the Cochitenos, was the first village built and occupied by the
Keres-speaking people after they were driven from the Valley of the
Frijoles. The village is known as Yapashi which means “sacred

Only a half-mile away is the Stone Lions Shrine. Carved out of native
tuff are the life-size images of two mountain lions and around them is
an enclosure—a low wall of blocks of volcanic tuff. It is said that even
the Zuñi Indians made pilgrimages to this shrine because they believed
this to be the entrance to Shipapolima, the underworld from which their
ancestors emerged. It is important even today to the Cochitenos who
visit it frequently and leave bits of their ceremonial paraphernalia.
Moving along slowly, Espejo’s little party would have trudged up the
slopes to the high potrero tops again and then across the steep-walled
Canyon del Alamo. They would have had a long march to Frijoles over
trails known only to Indians. No, this could hardly have happened. The
Spanish might never have survived.

Had these Keres-led Spanish peered into the Frijoles—known to Indians as
Tyuonyi—this Hidden Valley in the New World, they would have seen the
unbelievable. They would have looked into a valley six hundred feet deep
and several hundred feet across. The opposite or north side was a sheer
perpendicular cliff of pinkish rock. There were houses terraced high in
the air, three or four stories at the base of the cliff. There were cave
openings in the cliff, over some of the houses, which led out to open
porches built of poles and brush. Small houses of stone and mud extended
up and down the north wall of the Canyon almost as far as the human eye
could see. People were walking around, microscopic in size because of
the distance, climbing up and down tiny ladders to and from the tops of
their houses. They were clothed in cotton cloth, hides and furs.

In the center of the valley, seemingly equidistant from both sides, was
a huge circular house comprised of many small rooms, one on top of
another, with tiny ladders extending from the ground to the roofs.
Indians were going in and out of small roof openings. Their house was a
veritable fort of primitive style. Four hundred rooms, or more, were
built in the form of a circle. The structure had an opening or hallway
through one side which led to an inner court or plaza. A sentry was
stationed inside the entrance which was a high, thick wall built in the
shape of a semi-circle with a narrow opening. A lone Indian, or maybe
two, with bow and arrow in hand, might have been seen carrying a deer
down a narrow trail. Queer looking creatures were these Indians with
long stringy hair tied down by a band around their foreheads. They wore
moccasins of deer skin on their feet. Kilts covered their thighs. They
could have been a short muscular sort of people much the same as our
modern pueblo dwellers. But they were known as the “pygmies” or “the
little strong people.”



Smoke emerged from tiny openings in the roofs. Occasionally an Indian
woman would appear, black hair stringing and her body draped with a
manta of cotton cloth or animal skins. The bark of a dog or the gobble
of a turkey which the Indians had domesticated might have broken the
silence. The waters of the little river far below could be heard rolling
over and onward toward the Rio Grande. The occasional thud of a boulder
was heard as it bumped down stream.

Only one side of the valley was occupied—the north side. The south side
was covered with trees, bare now because winter was here. The south wall
of the Canyon was not as conducive to habitation as the north because it
was worn down at a sharp angle. There were no vertical cliffs from which
to carve out caves and no talus slopes on which to build little houses
of stone and mud. No sun directed its rays toward the south cliff. The
snow lay there all winter and helped cut it down at a sharp angle from
top to bottom. The north side was sunny and dry—a perfect place for

There were not many people here during these last years of the sixteenth
century. Great numbers had gone: but where, and why? A few cronies could
have been seen crouching against stone houses at the base of the cliff,
basking in the afternoon sun. A woman or two could have been grinding
corn on flat stone slabs inside a cliff house, keeping time to a weird
monotonous chant sung by old men as they pounded drums. Things were
hanging from the ends of roof poles protruding through the front walls
of houses—perhaps a piece of highly prized venison. House tops were
strewn with corncobs. A weather-beaten corn field had spent itself.

This was the valley known to the Keres as “Tyuonyi.” It was the place
where their people had lived only a few generations before. It was a
valley over which most any group of primitive people would fight and was
a place where the water supply was constant except in times of intense
drought. Tyuonyi is a Keres word which signifies a treaty or contract
and was so-called because of a treaty made with Tewa-speaking people
years before, marking it as the boundary between Keres and Tewa
territory. But who was to occupy Tyuonyi, the Hidden Valley and the most
ideal spot on all the Pajarito Plateau? It seems that the Tewas (the
little strong people) were the ones who occupied it until the very last.
This was perhaps the reason why the Keres became envious and that is why
to this day they retain a feeling of criticism for the Tewa-speaking
people. Legend has it that relations between the two groups in
prehistoric times were normally unfriendly.

No Spanish expedition ever reached Hidden Valley, or at least,
archæologists have never found anything to indicate such a visit. And I
repeat, the Spanish expeditions clung to the low valleys and kept away
from the mountains. Tyuonyi then, is our subject. The Spanish never
visited it and if they ever heard of its extensive settlement by Pueblo
Indians direct mention was never made of it. It was a Hidden Valley in
the New World occupied before recorded history began in America. And
today its ruins are mellowed with age. It has yet to give up all its
secrets about the cliff dweller who hewed three hundred caves from its
north cliff with stone axes and knives, and built over twice as many
small houses at its base. They constructed five community villages on
its floor, and raised corn and beans and squash and pumpkins. And in so
doing, these prehistoric pueblo and cave dwellers, and I might say
historic, too, left in Hidden Valley so much material evidence about the
way they lived that in 1916 the entire area, including some of the
ancient Keres land to the south, was created a National Monument. Later,
a detached section of ancient Tewa territory, a few miles to the north,
was added to the area. It is known today as Bandelier National Monument
and is comprised of some 27,000 acres.

The thousands of interested visitors, who go to Bandelier every year to
prowl through the ruined homes located in the Valley of the Frijoles,
spend an hour or so turning the clock back to Neolithic times when man
had only bone, stone and wood tools with which to work. They relax in
Hidden Valley—and in imagination try to reconstruct the story connected
with these ruins which hold so closely the secrets of the past.

                              CHAPTER III

Could one be so bold as to say that the Moslem Invasion of Spain in the
eighth century A.D. took place after the first occupation of the Rio
Grande Valley by prehistoric Indians? Archæologists, who tell us stories
based on the remains of things they have found, broken pottery mostly,
say that Indians might have known the Rio Grande before this time. We
believe that they have occupied it continuously since about the eleventh
century A.D.

Drought seems to have always been one of the main controlling factors in
the migrations of Southwestern Indians. The study of tree-rings tells us
this. By matching ring patterns formed by the annual growth of certain
kinds of trees, pines chiefly, archæologists are able to determine the
years in which age-old timbers were cut. Those they are interested in
are the ones used by prehistoric Indians long years ago for building
roofs on their houses. So naturally, if an Indian had cut a tree down
with a stone axe and laid it across the walls of his house, then the
year that the tree was cut would correspond to the approximate time his
house was built and occupied. Indians did not cut timbers until they
were ready to use them. Felling timbers with crude stone axes was
somewhat of a chore. Old beams from houses show that long periods of
drought reigned in the Southwest. It is thought that these dry spells
caused Indian families to leave their homes and seek new lands for
settlement and cultivation.

Such a condition seems to have existed in the entire San Juan area of
northwestern New Mexico, northeastern Arizona and southwestern Colorado.
The greatest of the large centers of Indian population, which may have
numbered hundreds or even thousands of people, were the towns of Chaco
Canyon in northwestern New Mexico and the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in
southwestern Colorado. Many of these towns, it seems, were abandoned
when the great drought was at its height between 1276-1299, a period of
twenty-three years. And so we find shifts in population. It is believed
that some of these shifts were toward the Valley of the Rio Grande.

Before this time small individual groups or migrant bands took to
wandering. Other Indians could have remained even after the time of the
twenty-three year drought period, dreading to leave their homes as we
would ours today. No, there was no great exodus of population. The
people from the great towns in the west did not move out all at one time
and completely abandon their homes and desiccated lands. They moved out
in small bands, or even families. In some way, a traveler might have
reported high mountain ranges, water and fertile lands to the east—the
next best to the places they knew as home which they and their ancestors
had occupied for hundreds of years.

It is possible that even in the 1000’s A.D., small groups pushed out
over dry desert wastes, following sandy arroyo beds—thought of water
ever paramount. They were people struggling again for existence. Some
likely stopped along the way and built temporary homes. They broke
pottery vessels which they had brought along. The archæologist found
some of the broken pieces nine hundred years later to help tell the
story. Whether these migrant bands had a goal or not is questionable but
the Valley of the Rio Grande was finally reached and scant evidence of
these early people has been found. More and more Indians moved out of
the San Juan area and drifted in a southeasterly direction. Some clung
to the valleys, others took to the mountains, but all settled in the
general locality where we find most of our colorful and picturesque
Indian Pueblos so well-known the world over—northern New Mexico.

It is evident that by constant roaming, and penetrating unknown and
fascinating country, some of these primitive Indians stumbled into the
deep valleys and upon the high forested mesa tops of the Pajarito
Plateau, about twenty miles west of the present city of Santa Fe. The
spot on which Santa Fe is located was then nothing but arid mesa land
and low foothills ascending to the Sangre de Cristo Range of Mountains.
Four things were paramount in the minds of these primitive people. They
were water, food, protective shelter and clothing. These were the things
the Pajarito offered. Anyone journeying through the deep canyons and
over the high mesa tops today could easily see why prehistoric Indians
settled here.

For centuries the wind pounded tiny sharp particles against cliff
surfaces. It whipped up close to the ground and hollowed out shallow
caves. Very likely, these places were not large enough for Indians to
crawl in out of the weather but the cliff composition was so soft that
these natural caves could easily be made larger. A crude stone of basalt
with a sharp edge made a perfect hand axe. Indian men hacked out caves
large enough for a little family group to enter. Rain and cold created
the necessity for heat. Drills of wood were used to start fires in these
crude cave dwellings. Fires made them warm—suffocatingly so. There was
no way for the smoke to escape except through a wide front opening. This
lack of ventilation created a very serious problem for the early cave
dweller on the Pajarito Plateau.

There were other Indians who preferred to build their homes on the high
mesas during these early times. Adobe was used almost exclusively to
build the low walls of rooms. Some bedded small stones into the walls
before they were dry. This helped to hold them together. Others
preferred to use larger stone, picked up at random, in building their
house walls. The adobe huts were undoubtedly unsatisfactory because of
their low resistance to weather. Since older styles of pottery have been
found in the ruins of these houses, it is logical to suppose that
Indians migrating onto the Pajarito built adobe houses first. Later they
dug themselves out homes in the cliffs which gave them greater
protection from the weather and from any invaders.

In this wilderness a mule deer could have fed in a little valley or
drunk from a creek. This would mean food for the entire family or group
if a crude arrow would hit its mark. Small razor-sharp fleshers of
chalcedony or basalt were used to remove the hide from the carcass. The
hide could be used for making clothing or moccasins. Some of the smaller
bones might have been used as drills and awls until better ones could be
obtained. A flock of wild turkeys would have solved this problem. Turkey
bones made excellent awls. Just what the people used for arrow points
during these early times is questionable. Maybe they brought them along
from the west. They could have used chipped chalcedony or basalt which
was readily found, and quite common in this area. An occasional nodule
of black volcanic glass, called obsidian, washed down the creek and was
found bedded in its soft sandy bottom. Obsidian might have been more
popular during later times as the early dweller in this country may not
have discovered the ledges of black glass immediately upon his arrival.
Such could have been life on the Pajarito Plateau eight hundred years

More groups of people came in. Hand-hewn caves could have dotted the
soft workable walls of every canyon which would support human life. The
well-known canyon of today, the Frijoles, was one such place. The lower
part of the valley formed a sort of a bulb for about two miles. Its
sheer cliffs on the north side rose to terrific heights. And throughout
the countless years, as boulders and dust fell from the cliffs, a talus
slope or base had formed. A little river, the Rito de Los Frijoles, ran
for seventeen miles from its source in the high mountains to the west
and emptied into the Rio Grande. This Canyon was the best in the entire
Pajarito—the most coveted of all habitable places. The water supply was
apparently constant and the valley was broad and open at the lower end,
most suitable for agriculture. The floor was densely covered with
growths of scrub oak, piñon and pine. This was all that primitive groups
needed for successful living. And so we find that some of these
wandering Indians from a world a hundred miles to the west, which was to
become a thing of the past, penetrated the Valley of the Frijoles over
eight hundred years ago. But Frijoles Canyon was not the only place
occupied. There were other canyons nearby. There was plenty of room for
all. But was there enough water in these other canyons?

Indian families cut their crude shelters deep enough for occupation by
several individuals. Caves were uncomfortable, but certainly better than
no shelter at all. This was a strange sort of stone which nature had
provided. It was very poor to build with, thought the Indian. It was
soft and bulky. But years of living would eventually solve the problem.
Why worry about it! In time necessity would produce some means of
shelter more satisfactory. Later on, more people moved into the area.
These people occupied adjacent canyons and mesas as well as Frijoles.
During many years population increased and the dwellers on the Pajarito
became settled in their locality.

There is no way of telling how many Indians lived in the Valley of the
Frijoles during very early times—close to water and well protected.
Indians could sit at the openings of their cave homes above the talus
slope and see for great distances up and down the Canyon. And it was
safe. No jealous enemy lurking above could roll a boulder down on them.
Their cave was their protection. But caves were not adequate as homes.
Fires could not be built inside without smoking out its occupants.
Something better had to replace them. This new soft rock certainly was
not suitable for building walls or at least these simple valley folk did
not know how to use it. Crude mud huts were erected at the base of the
cliff at the same time that caves were occupied as home sites. Mud was
all they could find for building walls. It took lots of water to make
mud and then it was so soft and crumbly that the little walls cracked
and fell when they dried out.

Soon it was found that by picking up small stones and packing them into
the soft mud as temper the walls would stand longer. Larger rocks and
less mud made better walls and saved a lot of toil and unnecessary
labor. There were many rocks to be picked up at random. Walls were
raised high enough for the Indian to stand upright inside the rooms.
Sharp stone axes of basalt were used to fell small trees which were laid
over the tops of walls for the support of the roofs. The blunt ends of
the timbers were inserted in holes gouged out of the cliff. Brush and
grass were placed over them; thick mud coats were smeared over the top.
Holes were cut in the roofs. Fires were built and the smoke could escape
through these holes. How much better this than a cave! These tiny rooms
were stuffy and smoky inside but not as unpleasant as a cave room. An
Indian would soon suffocate inside a cave. During the rainy seasons the
roofs leaked and great quantities of mud were stirred up and spread over
the top and smoothed down flat. The women could always find more when
that washed off. In time weeds and wild grasses took root in these dirt

But somewhere, somehow, not at Tyuonyi perhaps, but in some nearby
valley or on some high mesa top at one of a hundred colony sites, Indian
neighbors found that still larger chunks of tuff could be used for
building blocks. This would save much labor. So much mud in a wall would
not be necessary. It is possible that this use of larger building stones
was not a matter of independent origin at any one of many primitive
villages on the high mesas and in the deep canyons of the Pajarito.
Indians, after years and years of living, simply came into the use of
larger building blocks by the trial and error method. They served the
purpose better. A dry spell or so, when it did not rain, might have made
it necessary to transport more and more water in urns from water holes
or nearby streams. This was women’s work and hard work too. And more
stone and less mud made stronger walls for houses anyway. Some of the
stone was so soft that it could be shaped into blocks to fit into the
walls. These blocks did not lay absolutely flat because their surfaces
were irregular. Small stones were forced between the cracks and when the
mud mortar dried the walls were solid. This practice went on for years
and years. Indians experimented with all the materials at their
disposal. They could not send an order to the Gods for building

Everywhere on the Pajarito are seen the remains of homes belonging to
this period of occupation. There are hundreds of them—small family
houses, in deep canyons or in a forest on high mesa tops. Debris has
filled them up and today they look like piles of rock. Building blocks
are strewn all over the surface. Most of the blocks had been picked up
at random after they had been carved by nature. Others were square or
rectangular, showing that they had been fashioned by Indian hands.

The Indians who lived in the Valley of the Frijoles communicated with
the other groups who lived in deep canyons to the south and to the
north. They visited each other and even traded back and forth. Little
colonies were formed when one, two, three or four families lived
together in a house with several rooms. But the time was to come when
this living all over the country would stop; people would come together
to live in communities. And the little colony sites would be abandoned
forever for the archæologist to discover centuries later.

A touchy subject is that of linguistics. It is a tricky one. But
students know that five different languages are spoken among the Pueblo
Indians of New Mexico today. They are: Tiwa, Tewa, Towa, Keres, and
Zuñian. To be on the safe side, one should not touch too heavily upon
languages spoken by Indians, especially in a writing of this kind. But
languages and dialects do play an important part in our story. When
those early people drifted from Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde toward the
Rio Grande, they spoke a language. But, it is unknown. Students have
ideas, but are reluctant to advance opinions based on the ruins they
excavate or the artifacts they discover. But, two groups of Indians
speaking different languages drifted onto the Pajarito. People speaking
different languages have never gotten along well together even from the
Tower of Babel until the present time.

It has been mentioned before that Keres-speaking Indians have a legend
that long years ago a treaty or contract was made between their
ancestors and Tewa-speaking people. It is said that certain loosely
defined ranges of territory were to belong to each of the two groups.
The meeting place or the place where the treaty was made was called
“Tyuonyi.” “Tyuonyi” means “place of treaty.” Thus the dividing line
between Tewa and Keres lands became sharply defined by what is now known
as “Frijoles Canyon.” But how long was such a treaty to last among
primitive people? All the lands to the south of Frijoles Canyon were
supposedly Keres and those to the north were Tewa. After this treaty was
made, Indians probably spread out on each side of the Canyon like the
parting of the waters of the Red Sea. Small house sites dotted the mesas
and canyons on both sides. But still, members of both groups could
possibly have lived here together. Legend hints at this.

As time went on more houses sprang up at the base of the north cliff and
crude pueblos were erected on the floor of the Canyon. Kivas or
ceremonial chambers were dug out of the valley floor and lined with
walls of rock. Indians gathered cobble stone because they might not have
known how to cut blocks during these early times with which to lay
masonry walls. They gathered thousands of them and built their kiva
walls eight or ten feet thick. This was their attempt to utilize the
pieces of crudely shaped felsite or volcanic ash. They laid huge timbers
fifteen or more inches in diameter across the walls of their large
underground chambers. Then smaller poles of pine were cut and laid on
top of the large vigas. Splittings were hacked from down trees. Pine,
cottonwood, juniper, piñon—anything that would split easily with crude
stone implements—were used for the next roof course. Then brush and
grass and mud were put on top. The roofs must have been two or more feet
thick but little did the Indians realize that the tremendous weight
might crack the big timbers after they dried out. How ingenious were
these Indians in their simple way!

Many a moon passed. Many houses were built. Jealousy might have arisen
between these two groups of Indians. Who was to raise corn on this or
that little patch of fertile ground? Who should have a right to hunt
deer and turkey in the Valley of the Frijoles? How could Keres-speaking
people go to Tewa kivas or how could Tewas go to Keres kivas? Trouble
reigned over the entire plateau and most of it was possibly in the
Valley of the Frijoles. Was it ever decided which group should live in
Hidden Valley when it was given the name Tyuonyi?

Jealousy could have arisen over pottery. When the Frijoles area was
first occupied clay deposits were discovered in arroyos and along river
banks. Indian women began moulding pottery with local clays. They
discovered mineral pigments. They used paints from wild plants which
fired the black designs in fast color in the vessels. The color would
never come out. But slowly and surely the women began to depart from the
techniques which they and their ancestors had previously used. Out of
these techniques new styles of pottery were developed by using local
materials. These white wares with black designs became thick and coarse
as time went on and probably decreased in popularity as far as
usefulness was concerned.

The Keres-speaking people had kin far to the south of the Pajarito
Plateau. And these people were ingenious. Sometime in the thirteenth
century, it seems, Indians living in the Little Colorado River district
of what is now eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, were making a
style of red pottery with black designs. This pottery was apparently
very popular and spread by trade to the Rio Grande Valley. Indians in
this same region eventually learned to produce a glaze paint by using
lead-manganese ore. This ware also spread to the Rio Grande and glaze
paint was used in decorating pottery from about 1350 A.D. to the time of
the Pueblo Rebellion in 1680. It is thought that shortly after its
inception and perhaps by 1400 A.D. this red pottery spread by trade to

The Keres living here might have brought this red ware in from their
southern relatives living below the Pajarito Plateau. On the other hand,
it is possible that they might not have lived in the Canyon before the
time of the glaze pottery. The most plausible explanation seems to be
that the people to the south brought the materials to their kin in the
Frijoles. These materials were then transformed into the beautiful new
hard red ware to catch the eye of the Tewa-speaking people who likely
were modeling inferior white wares with black designs. However, there is
a remote possibility that this glaze ware was never manufactured in
Frijoles Canyon and this possibility brings up the question as to
whether or not the ware was used as a wedge to gain entrance into
Tyuonyi. The folk who were living here, either Tewa or Keres, or it
could have been both, were making an inferior type of black-on-white
pottery with local materials. It was inferior because it was so porous.
So, the Tewa-speaking people might have readily accepted this red ware
in trade from the Keres. And it seems this trading might have been
carried on for a half-century or thereabout. No one is sure. At this
particular time there seems to have been a definite decrease in the
manufacture or trading of glaze pottery.

Something very drastic must have taken place. Could it be that there was
just not enough room in the beautiful Frijoles for two groups of people
who spoke different languages? It was easily a prize spot. It was a
green valley—a perfect place to live and the water supply was constant.
It might have been the envy of Indians for many miles around. There was
not this constant water supply either to the north or to the south. Some
groups living on the high mesas might even have depended on open basins
hollowed out of soft rock to catch the rain water. Great jealousy could
have arisen between individuals or even groups. And one might safely
guess that love affairs were broken up between Tewa maidens and Keres
boys or vice versa. And who can say with certainty that the Tyuonyi was
not the earliest known home of the Keres-speaking people in this
vicinity? Or that it was not the Tewas from the north who did the
encroaching and forced their way into the Valley of the Frijoles and
lived and traded pottery with the Keres?

By the time of the fifteenth century, there were many of the Indians
living to the north of Tyuonyi. Little house sites were being abandoned.
People were drawing closer together to live in larger communities.
Surely, the soft volcanic ash from the cliffs was being fashioned into
building blocks with stone axes. Some were square, some were
rectangular—long heavy four-sided blocks. It had taken Indians years and
years, possibly, to learn that this soft stone could be quarried and
then shaped. These blocks were definitely better and single thickness
coursed masonry walls were in vogue by this time. This was the highest
type of prehistoric pueblo architecture on the Pajarito Plateau.

This was most likely the period in which the terraced communal apartment
houses were developed and erected. There were centers of population from
this time on. There were no more small family houses. Indians built
houses with several hundred rooms, at least two, and, in some cases,
three stories high. What was the reason? Was it for defense purposes or
was it just a normal outgrowth of the discovery of the fashioned block
technique? There were several main villages occupied by the
Tewa-speaking people to the north. They were all built in defensible
positions: on a knoll, a high mesa top overlooking the entire
surrounding country, or in a valley away from the cliffs from which
heavy objects could be thrown down by enemies. These four villages were
Potsui’i, Sankawi, Navawi and Tshirege. Potsui’i was located in a deep
valley on a knoll. It was known as “gap where the water sinks.” Sankawi
was “gap of the sharp round cactus.” It was built high on a mesa top in
a defensible position. A trail was worn in the soft rock by thousands of
moccasined feet going and coming from the pueblo. Another of their
villages, Navawi, was so-called because of a pitfall gap or game trap.
Game coming from either direction on the trail was caught in a deep pit.
Tshirege was “House of the Bird People.” It was the largest pueblo on
the Pajarito and had extensive villages built at the base of the cliff.
The numbers of Indians who lived at these sites during these times
cannot be estimated though all four villages were large. It would appear
that nothing but Tewas lived here. But there also lived their kin and
kind in Frijoles Canyon.

Keres people were living to the south of Frijoles—in large pueblos too.
They had been living in this south country for years at Yapashi, “pueblo
of the Stone Lions,” and at Haatze, “House of the Earth People.” These
were communal apartment houses also but the Keres population on the
Pajarito probably was not as great as that of the Tewas in those days.
Nobody but Keres lived here to the south of Tyuonyi.

But certainly some groups held on at Tyuonyi. Who can say what happened
half a millenium ago? Likely, the Tewas in Frijoles were few. They could
have been outnumbered by the Keres people who might have refused to
leave their Tyuonyi. Runners could have been dispatched across trails to
the north to the big villages for help. War chiefs held council.
Warriors were called into action and could have streaked out over
age-old trails. Hideous looking creatures with flying black hair, bow
and arrow and war club in hand, went whooping and yelling to the Tyuonyi
and entered the Canyon at half a dozen places over the north cliff. Two
groups of Indians speaking different languages simply could not live in
the same valley, farm the same fields, live in the same caves and drink
the same water. This was the last of the Keres. They could not hold
their own because they were outnumbered and out-fought by “the little
strong people.” They were driven off and the Valley of the Frijoles was
Tewa from then on.

So these beaten Indians pushed south to move in with their kin at the
pueblo of the Stone Lions. Whether they ever went back to Tyuonyi and
attempted another stand against “the little strong people” is not known.
It has been legendarily hinted that a race of “dwarfs” again attacked
them at the pueblo of the Stone Lions, slaughtering many and driving off
the rest. But we know of no race of “dwarfs” in the Southwest during
either prehistoric or historic times. The poor Keres! They were beaten
at every turn. But they knew it and moved on, occupying first one place
and then another, moving in for awhile with other kin and kind. The
farther away from Tyuonyi, the better!



Haatze, or “House of the Earth People” was their next stop but not for
long. They lived here with their kind and then moved on, down to the
village of Cuapa only to be attacked again by “the little strong
people.” Great numbers were slaughtered, so the legends go, and the
remainder driven off and pursued almost to the present town of Santo
Domingo. Legend has it that one group went off by themselves and formed
the pueblos of Cochiti and Santo Domingo. Another group, it is said,
climbed up a high rock and took refuge there from their attackers. The
rock is known as the “Potrero Viejo” and here they built a village. One
San Felipe legend tells us this: nearly all the people at Cuapa were
slain, except a woman with a parrot who hid in a metate and a boy who
hid in a store-room. These two moved to the Tiwa-speaking village of
Sandia and got a cold reception so they went east to live with the
Tanos, where the woman gave birth to five children. Things were made so
miserable for them here that they left and moved to the Rio Grande and
eventually went to San Felipe. That is why we have the pueblo of San
Felipe today. These people still know the Pajarito as their ancestral
home and it is not an uncommon thing for them to organize a communal
hunt to the homes of their ancestors or trudge to the Shrine of the
Stone Lions and paint the noses of the life-size fetiches or sprinkle a
little sacred meal—deep in ancient Keres land.

                               CHAPTER IV
                      Building in the Great Period

Time has a peculiar way of curing all ills. The Keres had been driven
from the Tyuonyi by the “little strong people” and possibly did not make
further attempt to re-occupy this Valley of the Frijoles. They were
contented to stay in the broad Valley of the Rio Grande where the water
supply was constant and where their enemies did not care to go. The
boundary line was set. And even the hostile Tewas had probably
experienced enough of war and trouble.

Tyuonyi, the Hidden Valley, might have been like an oasis in the desert.
Who can say that there was sufficient water in the canyons and on the
mesas to the north—that water holes did not go dry and that the Tewas
did not have to depend upon waters from the heavens to make their corn
grow? And who can say that the waters of El Rito de Los Frijoles dried
up? One can only suppose. But judging by climatic conditions as they are
today, Frijoles Canyon was one of the main sources of water on the
Pajarito. Since water was a controlling factor in the lives of these
people, what primitive group of Indians would not fight over the right
to live in a well-watered valley—a green and beautiful valley—where
adequate shelter was afforded by the vertical walls of a high north
cliff? Certain things hint that little time passed before Tewa-speaking
groups penetrated the Valley of the Frijoles again and in larger numbers
than before. Slowly and surely they trickled in a few at a time. Over a
period of years the infiltration was heavy. Deep trails were worn in the
soft rock ledges by the passing over of thousands of moccasined feet
going to and from the northern villages some ten miles distant. The
steam of hatred between the jealous groups could have cooled off but
probably never completely. Toward the close of the fifteenth century
primitive Tewa farmers, it seems, had again settled in Frijoles Canyon.

    [Illustration: Building house]

They went to work in earnest this time, building houses; not with mud
walls which would wash down when it rained, but with walls of stone,
which type of construction their predecessors had begun. Some of the
caves occupied by the earlier people could have eroded away while others
could have been re-hewn by these later occupants. Who knows? Crumbling
remains of old talus houses might have been leveled off at the base of
the cliff and new homes built over them. Indian men carved the heavy
stones into square and rectangular blocks with stone axes. The stones
lay almost flat and the masons did not have to be too careful in their
fashioning because small pieces of rock hammered tight in the joints
would hold the blocks steady. These walls were laid on footings of
smooth-worn river pebbles. Block after block was carved and laid into
structures seven feet high. Indian women carried water from the little
river in ollas on the tops of their heads and trudged day after day up
the steep slopes to the cliff. They gathered clay, perhaps not from
Frijoles Canyon, because it was hard to find. They might have traveled
miles for enough to apply a thin coating of wash over the stone walls of
their homes.

Indian men labored with stone axes to fell the trunks of pines which
they used in building roofs to their houses. They gouged holes out of
the soft cliff to insert the ends of roof beams and sealed them in
tightly with mud mortar. Across these vigas they laid small poles. Many
miles were covered to obtain long slender canes and cat-tail stems from
the muddy low banks of the Rio Grande for the next roof layer. Then pine
needles and brush supplied the next coat. Something leafy had to hold
the thick mud coats which were smoothed flat over the top. Sometimes
Indian houses had doors in the front walls and sometimes they did not.
It all depended upon the wish of the individual builder. Most of the
houses had two-pole ladders of pine. Rungs were lashed down tight with
willows, pliable reeds or even strings of rawhide or rope made from the
yucca fiber. By means of ladders the Indian could climb to his roof-top
and go down through a small hatchway or opening. This gave added
protection against hostile groups. In any one of many cavate or house
rooms was a fireplace. In the ceiling above was an opening for the
escape of the smoke. Cliff dwellings were smoky places regardless of the
type or style.

Time developed the terraced community apartment house for the
prehistoric Pueblo Indian in the cliff as well as in the open flats on
the floor of the Canyon. Second stories, it seems, came quite late in
the evolution of house types at Frijoles. Narrow mud walls of such poor
quality as were built in earlier times at Tyuonyi would never have held
two stories but the new walls of fashioned rock would hold them because
they were more stable. It stands to reason that when stone and mortar
were laid into a wall, the process of drying out transformed the wall
into a unit. This process reminds me of an expression I remember from my
freshman days in college, that: “Pre-Cambrian rocks are homogeneous in
their heterogeneity,” and it is certainly true that stone walls built by
our prehistoric friends of the sixteenth century could enjoy the same
comment. Floors to these houses were plastered with fine adobe mortar.
The rough surfaces of walls were plastered over too, from floor to roof
timbers. And the cliff dweller was lucky if no water got inside his
house. The secret was to keep them dry. It might not have been an
uncommon sight to have witnessed the mudding of roofs by Indian women of
sixteenth century Tyuonyi. After a good rain they could have taken
advantage of water caught in pottery vessels which had been set outside
the houses. This would have saved the women many a weary step to water
and return.

    [Illustration: Roofing a house]

One story was not sufficient so up, up, up went the houses to two and
three stories. The cliff formed the back walls of the rooms—then Mr.
Prehistoric Indian had only three walls to lay instead of four. Walls of
stone, ten and twelve inches thick, would hold the weight of one or two
additional stories and especially when they leaned against the steady
cliff. But additional rooms meant more poles, more cane, brush and mud.
When second and third story rooms were added the smoke from fires in
rooms below escaped through a front opening. There was no way for the
smoke to escape through the upper rooms and the cliff dweller was smart
enough not to cut a hole in the floor and let the smoke into his house
above. And, too, second and third story rooms likely were much safer
than first story rooms. Ladders could be pulled up to the roofs. Who
knows that these Tewas were not thinking of revengeful Keres people to
the south?

In some cases caves were hewn and used independently of the talus houses
to the front but certainly it was impossible to stay inside while large
fires were burning. The poor cliff dweller would have suffocated. Many
attempts were made to ventilate caves by boring smoke holes above the
doorways. But it was impossible to ventilate a cave successfully. Not
much of a draft was created. Indians attempted to ventilate their cave
homes by cutting as many as three holes through the soft cliff and then
plastering the holes on the inside to facilitate the passage of the
smoke. They met with little success.

Fires were kindled inside and when smoke filled the room the Indian
either had to go outside or into his talus house. I once had an
experience with fires in caves. Undoubtedly, the Indian of long ago
experienced the same as I. When a fire was kindled the smoke circled
around and filled the chamber. The vents did not work. Smoke hovered
down to the height of the door and went out at that point leaving a
definite line of demarkation around the cave wall. The Indian plastered
the wall underneath this smoke line so that his house would not be so
filthy and so that he could crouch down and lean his shoulders against
it without getting soot all over his back. I have seen cave walls
exhibiting as many as thirteen thin plaster coats. Never let it be said
that caves were popular places in which to live while large fires were
burning inside. Perhaps our prehistoric friend knew that if he built a
fire inside his cave the walls would warm up. Then hours later, after
most of the smoke had gone out, he could return and be quite comfortable
without suffocating. And he, no doubt, would have rolled down a deer
skin or matting of corn shucks over the opening to keep out the cold
during the winter months.

The majority of the caves at Tyuonyi were connected with the talus
houses to the front. Caves entered from second-story rooms were very
popular and likely were used, for the most part, as ante-chambers and
not as independent dwellings. They were excellent for storage purposes
and if the Indian wanted to live he had to hold food over from one
season to the next. Covering a period of a little more than a hundred
years, let us say, the Indians of Frijoles Canyon cut over three hundred
cave rooms in the north cliff. Some were, used independently of the
houses to the front but most of them were not. Caves were hewn before
houses were built, and likely, a great number of them were cut after the
talus houses were erected against the cliff. They built just as many
houses as caves, if not more. Houses extended as far as four rows of
rooms out from the cliff and they were terraced up as high as three
stories. On top of them were open porches which we call “ramadas” today.
They were mere shelters with four corner poles and a few cross pieces of
juniper or pine with brush and leaves over the top. What delight some
old cronies might have had basking in the sun during some hot summer

This was the valley of the cliff dweller, the Ancient Tewa more than
likely, who built houses and cut caves for almost two miles up and down
the north cliff of Frijoles Canyon. Here he could see for great
distances—he could look up and he could look down. He could hear the
water rippling in the Rito below and he could live in true Indian
fashion. But these villages were not built in a day or a year. It took
many years. Although there are the ruins of enough houses and caves
along the north wall to have housed two thousand primitive Indians, no
more than a few hundred ever lived here at one time. There simply wasn’t
land enough to farm, or game enough to supply food for a greater number.
It would seem that Tyuonyi never had a static occupation but an ever
moving one.

The cliff dwellers at Frijoles, like their kin to the north, knew that
the only safe method of living was in communities. So they erected what
is known today as the “Long House.” One section of the north cliff was
almost vertical and its base sloped gently down to the waters of the
little river. This must have been the concentration of the cliff homes.
Rooms were built side by side for over seven hundred feet. There were
few cave rooms here to crawl back into and out of the weather. These
people must have learned by experience how uncomfortable caves were,
because they stuck to houses with stone walls and roofs of poles and
brush and grass and mud. And they built these homes solid against the
cliff and even carved recesses in the cliff so that the ends of the
building stones would fit perfectly. Then the walls would not slip. The
Long House was not very far from water—fifty yards. This was just a step
for the women.

Some of the dwellers carved and painted pictures on the back walls of
their houses or even in the caves which had barely enough room for three
or four people to occupy. Call it writing if you like. It likely was
“doodling.” They had no written language. They were forced to record
what they thought and what they believed or had seen on the walls of
their houses or in the designs of their pottery. Birds were the most
common design. A mountain sheep was occasionally drawn, or a squirrel,
or a rabbit; perhaps a bear or a katsina—a supernatural being. They
might have tried to depict their ancestors emerging from the darkness
and climbing up a high pole from the underworld of Sipapu. The awanyu or
“plumed serpent” was quite common. It was the guardian spirit of
springs. In one cave there was a drawing of a horse and certainly this
was not an ancient drawing for the Spanish brought the horse to New
Mexico. Some wandering Tewa could have seen the Spanish on horseback—on
creatures which Indians thought devoured people. It might have been that
other Tewa-speaking people from around the pueblo of San Juan, far to
the north, described a horse by pictograph, when they hurried into the
mountain homes of their kin after seeing the Spanish in 1540. Or it
might have been drawn by some visitor after the evacuation of the
Indians. It could even have been someone’s joke.

About a quarter-mile from the cliff dwellings, and where the Canyon
becomes narrow, is a deep natural cave. It is eighty feet across and its
opening faces the valley one hundred fifty feet above the waters of the
Rito. One prehistoric group lived here for a time. They were certainly
secluded. Hand holds were gouged from the soft cliffs with sharp pointed
rocks and here in this, now called “Ceremonial Cave,” Indians built
seventeen first-story rooms and several second-story rooms around the
back. They excavated a kiva or ceremonial chamber to the front of the
cave. Think of the task these Indians had when they carted water and
poles and sticks and perhaps stones up the side of the cliff. Tons of
rock were required to build these houses and the ceremonial chamber.
This little group built their kiva twelve feet in diameter. It was a
circular affair dug to a depth of nine feet and lined with a wall of
stone which was plastered on the inside. The floor was of a special
kind. It was hard, black and shiny. It had been polished with a smooth
stone like the ones the Indian women use today to polish their black
pottery. Only this floor was made of blood—animal blood. The Indians
carefully saved the blood from animals which they killed and then mixed
it with fine silt and soot from the fire and smeared it over their kiva
floor in thin layers. When the blood coagulated the plaster hardened and
then it was polished by rubbing a smooth stone over it in backward and
forward motion. This must have been an important room to have had such
an elaborately made floor. But kivas in prehistoric times may have been
more important than they are today.

In the floor were six small holes in a straight line. While the plaster
was still wet small pieces of oak or some other tough pliable wood was
bent in loops and the ends of each piece were pushed down into the soft
mud plaster. Then these holes, or round depressions were made around the
loops leaving them exposed. These were directly below a horizontal pole
suspended from the ceiling. This was a loom. By an arrangement of long
straight sticks these ingenious Indians devised a method of weaving.
Since it is thought that in years gone by women and children were not
allowed in the kivas to break up the complacency of a man’s ceremony, we
might suppose that some old man sat here and ran a shuttle through warp
cords of cotton strung vertically from roof poles to floor loops. Here
he carried on weaving of a ceremonial nature with cotton or animal hair
while the smoke from a ceremonial fire in the fireplace circled around
making the kiva a very unpleasant place to be despite an elaborate
system of ventilation.

These “high-up” cave dwellers had their houses built like the ones at
Mesa Verde, completely sheltered by the overhanging cave roof. To the
side of the dwellings, situated near the back wall of the cave, was a
turkey pen of little cleanliness. When I discovered this pen hundreds of
years later, the floor was covered with human feces, turkey and rodent
droppings. They had all lived here in times anterior to the coming of
the Spaniards—Indians, turkeys and rodents. The Indian hauled his water
and food from the valley below. He secluded himself from the bulk of the
Indian population at Tyuonyi. The question will always be, why? Of
course, there was a small pueblo on the other side of the Canyon on a
little knoll across the river but this might have been built, occupied
and abandoned before Indians ever occupied the big cave as a place of

And then, there were Indians who preferred to live on the floor of the
Canyon in pueblos—terraced community apartment houses. Several hundred
yards below the concentration of the cliff dwellings and in the lower
end of the Tyuonyi they built such an apartment house. Little is known
about it because it has never been excavated. Broken pieces of pottery,
the most important tool of the archæologist, are found strewn over its
ruins today. Its walls are down now and its rooms are almost completely
filled in with debris. This particular group of Indians preferred to
have their dwelling close to water and they erected it with stone and
mud mortar. This is all that is known of this isolated settlement.

It is quite possible that the most popular dwelling places in Frijoles
Canyon were the dwellings at the Long House, so well protected by the
sheer vertical cliff wall. These could have been over-crowded. Indians
might have cared little about living in other sections of the cliff. It
might have been that some of the cliff dwellers had experienced terrible
slides when hundreds of tons of loose rock and boulders came tumbling
down on their little houses, crushing them like pasteboard boxes and
burying the occupants alive. All the man-power in the northern part of
the Pajarito Plateau could never have rescued their kin who might have
been caught in these cave homes. Those rocks had rolled from the top to
stay and there they remain today. One wonders what stories those buried
caves hold—if, by chance, the skeletons of the occupants are still
there. Indians perhaps have died scratching at the boulders which
covered the entrances to their caves or tearing their hair and clutching
their throats as they suffocated and fell extended on the hard plaster
floors in their rooms. Those caves have never been opened.

It is easy to see that the valley floor could have been more popular as
a dwelling place than sections of the cliff more susceptible to slides
than the Long House. A part of the main population built and lived in a
large terraced community apartment house known as “Puwige” or “pueblo
where the women scraped the bottoms of the pottery vessels clean.” This
is now the famous ruin known the world over. It has been featured in the
_National Geographic Magazine_ and many other publications.

Puwige never existed during the very early occupation of the Canyon. Its
initial wall stones were not laid until the beginning of the Great
Period. Any Indian family might have erected a few rooms near the little
river—close to water. Then another family came along and built a few
more rooms. A son took on a wife and the entire family helped to build
his house, since house-building was a community proposition. Indian men
went to the slopes where boulders had rolled down and broke them with
heavy stones and fashioned the pieces into uneven building blocks. This
was no small job. Walls were laid in mud mixed by the small brown hands
of Indian women. Poles were cut and laid across the walls, then
splittings and cane and brush were laid over the tops and sealed with
thick coats of mud. Thick coats of crude plaster were spread over the
inside of walls and over floors. These Indians had little clay, none for
walls anyway, without hauling it in on their backs, so, they poured hot
ashes into the mud to make it stick. Hot ashes formed a sort of lime.
Coronado, in 1540, found the Indians at Tiguex making a mortar and
plaster in this manner. Slabs of basalt were brought in and set edgewise
in the rooms as fireplaces. This was the home of the newlyweds—built
right next to the groom’s father’s house. The young bride could have
come from the Long House to live at Puwige, the community house, with
her husband’s family.



The place on which Puwige was erected was so situated that the Indians
had to make walls with sharp turns to follow the contour of the land.
This must have been a popular place to live for as time went on more and
more rooms were added. Indians evidently preferred this to the
vulnerable cliffs. It was not all planned and executed at one time. Some
second-story rooms were added and then porches of poles and brush were
built. Additions of rooms continued until Puwige was shaped in the form
of a crescent with the open part facing the little river which was only
a few feet away. Indians lived here for untold years. Something
happened. I know not what. It seems that they closed the gap by building
three rows of rooms. It was no more a crescent but a circle of rooms
built around a large plaza or inner court. Rooms were built in rows,
seven deep on the east side of the circle and three on the west side.
There were about three hundred rooms on the ground floor and many second
and third-story rooms—four hundred in all, more or less. The place was
turned into a veritable fort. These people were cunning. They cut seven
rooms out through the east side and formed a narrow passageway through
which everyone had to pass in order to enter his home. They went from
the outside of the pueblo through this narrow passage, dodging
obstructions, until they reached the huge inner court. And then they
ascended to their respective dwellings by means of small ladders,
pulling them to their roof-tops during times of danger. Leave it to the
Tewas, “the little strong people,” to find ways and means of protecting
themselves from lurking danger.

I was once told a story by some San Ildefonso Indians about this Puwige
hallway. Guarding the hallway was a half-circle barricade of stone and
mud. It was several feet thick and both ends joined the walls of the
main building. Through this circular wall was a small opening. The wall
must have stood six or eight feet high to have been effective. Now the
Tewas contend that at one time, long ago, a sentry was stationed day and
night inside the circle. When Puwige was attacked the alarm was given
and a huge boulder was rolled in front of the opening. This was to slow
down the attackers. If they were fortunate enough to get by the boulder
then it was intended that they stumble over a slab of basalt set
edgewise in the passageway. It must have stood a foot or more in the
air. If the attackers got by the stone without losing balance, then they
encountered numerous wooden posts bedded upright in the dirt floor of
the long narrow passage. How confusing and prohibitive! Entrance to
Puwige was almost impossible unless “the little strong people” desired
it. For the villager, an Indian woman with a water jar on her head,
moving along slowly, entrance was easy, but for the enemy—no. Warriors
stood on housetops, high in the air, and shot sharp-pointed arrows at
enemies. They threw rocks and pottery vessels. They fought with
clubs—anything they could get their hands on. Puwige was not easy to

Was this Puwige occupied by any particular group or were the people of
the cliff houses allowed to scramble down and hurry to the inside for
protection? Was it a fort for the entire community or just for the
people who lived here? The cliff homes were being lived in at the same
time as Puwige and might have been more effective as defense units.
There was only one side to protect in the cliff homes—the front. And who
were the attackers: Navaho, Keres or other groups? Legend has it that
the Navaho plundered the pueblos for years and years and history tells
us so. They stole the hard-earned stores of food from the pueblos and
ran off with the women and children whom they made slaves. But it isn’t
likely that the Navaho, on foot during the days of Puwige, cared much
about penetrating the mountain homes. It would have been a chore to
carry the loot back with them. The Navajo likely did not relish the idea
of coming over the high range of mountains from the west for a few pots
of beans and corn. Would it not be more likely that the so-called
“little strong people” might have feared attacks during the night by the
Keres to the south who had been driven from their Canyon homes? Tyuonyi
was “the oasis of the Pajarito” and the Tewas did not intend to be
driven from their fertile valley. Some lurking band could have crept
over the south cliff when all was quiet—while Tewas were resting
peacefully below. And the attackers were quiet too, with their
moccasined feet, like the mountain lion which creeps upon a fawn. A
falling rock or the crackling of a dead branch would be a dead
give-away. This was not to happen to “the little strong people.”



    [Illustration: Raising the ladders]

In 1540 the Spanish explorers passed the Keres province and moved
northward, it would appear, near the present site of San Juan Pueblo.
The entire Indian population fled to the mountains, as you will recall,
where they said they had four very strong villages. It is entirely
possible that some of these people from the north pushed deep into the
mountain country and on to the Valley of the Frijoles where the Spanish
could not go on horseback. It was a Hidden Valley. If this had been
true, if these northern people had moved into Tyuonyi with their kith
and kin and had told about how the Spanish stormed pueblos and shot
cannon at other Indians and readily conquered the inhabitants, “the
little strong people” might have had incentive to fortify their Puwige
against the undesirable attentions of the conquerors. Or it might have
been some visitor from the Valley of the Rio Grande who told about
depredations at Tiguex. But would a Keres warn a Tewa? We must not
overlook the fact that it would have been possible for friendly
relations to have existed between the rival groups of people at the time
of the Spanish Conquest. They could have lived close together and traded
pottery and other articles back and forth. One might go so far as to say
that they could have lived at Tyuonyi together a few years prior to its
abandonment. But taking all these things into consideration it was
likely the Keres whom the Tewas fortified themselves against, and from
whom they had probably experienced hostile visits. So they fortified
their Puwige and drew up their ladders to the roof-tops in defiance. And
the people in the cliffs also drew up their ladders.

Within the inner court of this big community house were three kivas.
These deep underground ceremonial chambers lined with rock walls were
built adjacent to the rooms on the north side. Puwige was large. It was
more than two hundred seventy-five feet across and the tiers of rooms
formed a wide band around the outside of the circular court. Why the
Indians erected three kivas so close together is uncertain unless it was
to have more room in the plaza. It is possible that the kivas were
erected first, outside of the village, and as the pueblo grew the three
little ceremonial chambers were entirely enclosed within it. But why
three kivas inside Puwige? Indians had their reasons. These three
ceremonial chambers were small. They were not more than twelve or
fifteen feet in diameter. The hard plaster floors were seven or eight
feet below the surface of the ground. Their roofs were of poles laid
across the stone walls with brush and grass and mud for a covering.
Small combination hatchways and smoke vents were cut in the roofs and
ladders were put down to the floors as a means of getting in and out.
These chambers were likely society kivas of which there were several in
every Indian village. Or we might compare them with club rooms in our
own society. They were places where the elders met in council, or where
they came to spend an hour or so, perhaps a week, visiting with their
spiritual fathers. Kivas were places where policy was discussed and
decided upon—or a kiva might have been a place where a group of hunters
gathered before going on a hunt to pray that their hunt would be
successful. We will never know what went on in the secret chambers at
Tyuonyi, or as a matter of fact, in any other prehistoric kiva.

And speaking of kivas or ceremonial chambers, some groups preferred to
have theirs in the cliffs, hewn out like the smoky cave rooms but
generally larger. And the kivas, like the cave rooms, were plastered
half-way up the walls whenever they became smoked. This happened quite
often if fires were kept burning.

The greatest period of occupation of Hidden Valley must have begun
sometime during the fifteenth century. It was to last about a hundred
years. With the beginning of this Great Period, the period in which
Puwige and all of the talus houses were most likely built and occupied,
there certainly must have been some social or ceremonial organization
similar to that in the modern pueblos. There were likely two moieties.
The dual system where every person in the village belonged to one of two
kivas—either Turquoise or Squash, or, Winter or Summer respectively.
Presumably a baby born in the winter belonged to the Turquoise kiva. If
it was a patrilineal society then the individual might have belonged to
the same kiva as his father. Who knows but that it was a matter of
personal choice? Each kiva, Turquoise or Squash, had a ruler or cacique
whose word was absolute. He was the father of the village to whom
villagers looked for guidance and his appointment was for life. The
moieties were under the spiritual guidance of the two town chiefs who
were responsible for the welfare of the people. An important office was
that of cacique. He had been chosen because of his thorough knowledge of
chants, sacred rituals, ceremonial procedure and prayers. No one doubted
the word of the cacique. And all Indians owed duties to their respective
kivas. Although the groups, Turquoise and Squash, were in opposition
they also depended upon one another for the common good of the pueblo.

If the dual system was in vogue at Tyuonyi, there must have been two
kivas to support it. A peculiar thing, it seems, took place here. At
least one tribal kiva was built and was in use before the Great Period
of occupation came along. It was a large structure forty-two feet in
diameter. Sixty Indians could have crouched down around the inside
against the wall. Indian men, years before, excavated a large concave
depression in the side of a hill a hundred yards or so down the Canyon
from Puwige. Days and days were required to bring in thousands of cobble
stones. They labored untiringly. They brought them from the river and
they brought chunks from the cliff. Around this deep concave depression
which they had laboriously scooped out of the earth with broken pieces
of pottery, sticks, flat stones and whatever else they had to work with,
Indian men laid stone after stone of this volcanic tuff in crude mortar.
They laid a wall ten feet thick. It required thousands of the unworked
stones to line this deep pit. It was a circular affair and was their way
of creating a semi-subterranean chamber when they did not know how to
lay single thickness masonry walls with fashioned blocks.

No prehistoric Rio Grande kiva, that I know of, has an entrance through
its wall such as this which was found at Frijoles. They all were entered
through the roof. Such things as wall entrances are customary in kivas
in the San Juan area but not in the Rio Grande Valley. And these early
people dug five pits in the floor of their kiva and lined them with
cobble stones. They must have had some use for them of which we know
nothing. Pits of this type are something else not seen in prehistoric
Rio Grande kivas. They are found in the kivas at Chaco Canyon though,
and it is possible that they could have been vestiges of that early

This particular ceremonial chamber had apparently fallen into disuse for
a time. But during the Great Period of occupation, when “the little
strong people” presumably occupied the Tyuonyi, it was rebuilt. There
was little use in going to work and building an entirely new kiva when
one was already here and could be rebuilt. The old roofing had fallen to
the inside and there were hundreds of pounds of debris in the kiva
chamber. All this was cleaned out. Building a kiva was a community
enterprise. Men again began cutting and fashioning rectangular blocks
from large chunks fallen from the cliff. As each block was fashioned it
was laid into a single thickness coursed masonry wall around the inside
of the thick wall of cobble stone which belonged to the earlier
occupation. The Indian was smart. He laid this circular wall sloping
outward toward the top so that the pressure from the heavy roof would be
diverted downward when it was laid over the walls. When the wall was
finished it was nine feet high from the floor of the kiva to the
ceiling. And then to keep it from falling down, the Indians dug
underneath the footing stones, and objects modeled of clay which looked
like doughnuts were laid in the holes. When we discovered these
doughnut-shaped affairs I was mystified until an old Indian from San
Ildefonso told me they were put there purposely to hold the wall up, in
a spiritual way of course.

    [Illustration: Felling trees]

What a large structure this was! It was almost as large as the kivas at
Chaco Canyon where the ancestors of these Indians probably lived several
hundred years before. There was no kiva this large in the entire Rio
Grande Valley. Huge timbers forty-five feet long were required to span
its diameter and timbers that large were difficult to carry. But with
crude stone axes and obsidian knives these kiva builders penetrated the
forest to cut girders for their ceremonial chamber. In the year 1513
A.D. or thereabout, they cut three trees with trunks fifteen inches or
more in diameter. It took hours, days perhaps. They hacked and they
pounded with their Neolithic implements of toil until all three trees
had been felled. I would hate to estimate the time required to fell
these timbers but time meant nothing to the Indian. Then there was the
job of removing all the branches, needles and bark.

Preparing a girder in prehistoric times was a great task. Green timber
is much heavier than seasoned wood. And so these timbers weighing a ton
or more were dragged out of the forest to the kiva with stout ropes made
of yucca fiber. Sheer strength was all these people had. There were no
carts with wheels on them to bear the brunt of the load. Heavy objects
had to either be dragged or carried. After much sweat and toil the ends
of the huge poles were rolled over into position in shallow trenches
worked out for this purpose on both sides of the kiva. These three
timbers formed the under structure of the roof. When they were placed
exactly like the Indian wanted them, pointed rocks were driven into the
ground around the ends and the open spaces were packed with adobe so
that these huge round logs would not roll. They placed much smaller
timbers of pine across the huge vigas. These were not so difficult to
cut and they were laid about three feet apart. From down-timbers of
pine, piñon, cottonwood or any other type of fallen trees they hacked
and ripped long narrow sections for the next roof course. The splittings
were transported in bundles to the kiva and one by one they were laid
close together over the small pine poles. Great quantities of thin
willow branches, cane or cat-tail stems were used for the next course.
Pine needles, brush, yucca leaves and whatever leafy material they could
gather was placed on the top. They needed this brush and leafy material
because it was to hold the thick heavy mud coats which were spread over
the top. Indian women carried urn after urn of water on their heads from
the Rito and stamped and mixed this mud. The only chore left was to
throw dirt over the top.

When the ceremonial chamber was finished it looked like a huge, low
mound—almost level with the ground. The Indians did not forget the
square opening in the top for the exit of the smoke. Kivas were stuffy
places inside. And as in all kivas there was a ventilator. This had been
built during the earlier period of occupation and reused during the
Great Period. It was a mere tunnel which looked like a fireplace and it
suddenly turned upward like a fireplace chimney. The mouth of the
chimney was level with the ground so that the draft would be downward
and would go into the kiva and lift the smoke from the firebox to the
ceiling and eventually out the square opening. The Indian of Tyuonyi did
understand something about ventilating a kiva. He was smart enough to
know that if the top of the ventilator was built very far above ground
level it would work like a fireplace. Then all the smoke would be drawn
to the floor of the kiva and sucked out through the low tunnel. And in
this case he could not have remained inside. But he never found out how
to ventilate his cave room in the cliff. How unfortunate!

Directly across the kiva in the west side was the entrance which had
also been put here years before. It was merely a tunnel with a roof of
small juniper branches. The outside end was open and was just large
enough for the ends of a two-pole ladder to rest. Indians usually go
into their kivas through the roofs, but not here. They climbed down the
ladder, stooped, and with knees in a flexed position scurried through
the tunnel to the inside.

The five pits in the floor, which have been mentioned before, were
apparently no longer needed for they were filled in with dirt and stones
tightly packed. A thin layer of dirt was thrown over the entire floor
surface. Kiva floors are generally plastered over and during this period
of occupation the Tyuonyi women, more than likely, were the ones who
smeared four fine coats of adobe over the floor and smoothed it out with
their hands.

I have neglected to mention one of the most important things of all—the
Sipapu or ceremonial entrance from the underworld. It was the place of
ceremonial emergence into this earthly life. Archæologists generally
find a small hole in the floor of almost every kiva. But here at Tyuonyi
a special kind of Sipapu was made. A piece of soft volcanic ash was
formed into a rectangular block and buried edgewise in the floor. A
small hole shaped like an icecream cone was drilled in the top as the
spirit entrance. The Indians have a legend about this. It is symbolic of
the entrance to the land of “Earth Old Women” and of the place where the
human race originated. Long ago they climbed up a Douglas Spruce Tree
and came into this world through a lake called Sipapu. And when they die
the spirits go to Sipapu and on to the underworld. It is said that this
lake is located in the sand hills north of Alamosa, Colorado. How
important the kiva was to the Indians of Tyuonyi! Sipapu represented the
place of creation and to them it was important in no small way. The
cacique of each one of the big tribal kivas, both Squash and Turquoise,
was a direct representative of the Earth Mother or “Earth Old Woman.”

But the dweller at Tyuonyi had forgotten something. He did not realize
how tremendously heavy the roof of his big kiva was. He did not know
that the small pine timbers, the splittings, brush, grass, mud and dirt
would cause the big pine vigas to bend and sag and crack in the middle.
It is a question whether or not the roof fell in during some important
ceremony. The situation had to be remedied at any rate. Pine poles, nine
or ten inches in diameter were cut so they would support the weight of
the roof. Six holes were dug in the kiva floor, two under each of the
big vigas. Flat rocks were put in the bottoms of the holes and the ends
of the six timbers were inserted and swung into place under the big
girders, and driven with heavy rocks into an upright position. The big
vigas might have sagged a little but the roof never fell after this
time. Flat stones were driven tight around the bottoms of the support
posts and the holes in which they rested were packed solid with mud and
rocks to keep the timbers from slipping. And this was how the
prehistoric Indian at Tyuonyi built his ceremonial chambers in which
women were not allowed unless requested by the men. There might have
been more than one roof put on this kiva. The first one could have been
laid during the latter part of the fifteenth century. It could have
fallen and then been rebuilt. Archæologists do know that the last time
this large kiva was roofed over was during the early part of the
sixteenth century. We found one of the large charred ends of a big roof
timber and it had been cut in 1513 A.D. So it was about this time that
the last kiva roof was laid. Just how long it was in use is a question.
It was surely used until the end of the occupation of Frijoles Canyon
sometime near the close of the sixteenth century.

The Indians of Tyuonyi during the Great Period had developed the
dwellings in the north cliff extensively to the number of some three
hundred caves. There might have been twice as many talus houses to the
front, some one story and others two and three stories high. The cliff
population centered around the Long House while other groups built
houses in different locations at the base of the north cliff. And still
other groups built the big community apartment house of about four
hundred rooms to a height of possibly three stories and called it
“Puwige” or “pueblo where the Indian women scraped the bottoms of the
pottery vessels clean.” And they built it in the form of a fort with a
narrow hallway through the east side as the only means of entrance. And
here they fortified themselves during times of attack by other Indians
like themselves who might have been jealous of the watered Valley of the
Frijoles. Another group preferred to remove themselves down the Canyon a
quarter-mile and they erected a circular pueblo, a miniature of Puwige,
seemingly. Still another group preferred to be more isolated and so they
chose a deep cave one hundred fifty feet above the Canyon floor in which
to build their house and kiva.

One would think, looking at the ruined home sites, that thousands of
prehistoric Indians dwelt at Tyuonyi but that was never the case.
Although the dwellings were extensive they were not all occupied at any
one time. Small groups moved in. Others moved out. They could have taken
turns living in Hidden Valley and then returned to the northern villages
of Potsui’i, Sankawi, Navawi or Tshirege, where their kin and kind
lived. Tyuonyi might have been a place for summer occupation during the
growing season. When planting time came little groups trickled in from
the large northern community villages and remained for a while. One
cannot be sure of what went on in the Canyon. It was a suitable place
for continued occupation with the possibility of an influx of population
during the summer months. One can only speculate. Scientific
investigation reveals nothing in this regard. The legends are scant
now—the old men who remembered them are just about gone. So one is left
with little about how Indians lived on the Pajarito Plateau during
prehistoric times.

                               CHAPTER V
                       Living in the Great Period

It would have been an utter impossibility for thousands of Indians to
have lived off the corn, beans, squash and pumpkins raised in the Valley
of the Frijoles. But the several hundred who did live here had to eat
and in order to eat they had to work. The Indians of Tyuonyi were
farmers and were largely dependent upon the products of the soil. Only a
small part of their sustenance was from animals and birds. Of course,
there was game of all kinds. There were deer, perhaps elk and mountain
sheep, bears, turkeys, rabbits, and fish in the creek. But even though
this was wild country, several hundred Indians living in the locality
would soon have depleted the stock with their communal hunts. In the
fall of the year there were grouse in the high mountains and ducks along
the Rio Grande. But imagine how difficult it would have been to kill a
grouse or a duck with a crude bow and arrow. The deer might have been
the prize of the Indians at Frijoles. They ate the meat and used the
hides for buckskin. They knew the rabbit and the mouse and knew that the
woodrat gathered the edible piñon nuts to store away in its hiding
place. The robber, since there was a large crop of the nuts only once
every few years! They ate the squirrel. Skunk skins were probably used
for ceremonial purposes. The raccoon, however scarce, likely formed part
of the diet of the cliff dweller. And although Indians knew the birds of
the forest, they probably did not digest the meat of hawks very well. As
a matter of fact, most birds were too fast for the ever-seeking valley
dweller with his crude weapons.

Few Indian ruins are excavated in which the remains of corn are not
found. The ancient inhabitants raised corn—much corn. It was the most
important item in their diet. The fields in the lower end of the Canyon
were fertile. The valley was a paradise for primitive people. During
corn planting time tiny kernels were sown in the rich fertile ground
which had been broken with digging sticks and crude hoes. There were
likely no large continuous fields in this valley but only small patches
where individuals might have had separate fields. Adolph Bandelier
suggested that the ancient people irrigated in the Valley of the
Frijoles. How lucky they were if this were true. It is more likely that
they depended on the waters from the heavens. When it was extremely dry
the Indian women transported water from the little river in urns on the
tops of their heads. And so heavy were the jars filled with water that
they were obliged to use soft pot-rests of grass. Corn was planted in
April and was likely sown under a waxing moon so that it would grow with
the moon. The Tewas believed that when corn was sown under a waning
moon, the seeds quit growing. With careful nursing and watering from
April until September, the pigmy ears grew. In the early fall the corn
was gathered by the men.

    [Illustration: Cultivating corn]

    [Illustration: Carrying water]

A day at Tyuonyi during “corn gathering month” about 1537 A.D. was an
interesting one. The large plaza inside Puwige was swept clean, if
customs of yesteryear parallel those of today, and the corn was brought
therein. Corn, they believed, had life like people and would be glad to
be brought in and housed and protected. It was placed in piles and
everybody from the pueblo helped with the husking—men, women and
children. And when they finished they might have gone to the cliffs to
help their relatives with their husking. As fast as the ears were husked
they were thrown on the flat mud roofs of the houses to dry. These
Indians did not use all the corn at once. The old women thought of crop
failures the next year and so they saved a double amount of the
life-giving grains to plant the year after. After all the husking was
done, the pueblo was swept clean with brooms made of grass bound with
yucca fiber or corn husks. This was in preparation for a festival—a
dance perhaps, to observe the gathering-in of the crop. Strange customs
these Indians had! While corn was standing in the fields it was the
property of the men. As soon as it was gathered, husked and stored, it
belonged to the women who were the caretakers, even though they took
little part in pueblo life at Frijoles which was predominantly a
masculine society.

Not all the four hundred rooms at Puwige were used for dwellings.
Perhaps no more than a hundred Indians lived here. The smaller rooms
around the inside of the circle, more than likely, were used for storage
purposes. If this were so, it was here that great stores of corn were
kept—inside the circle, safe from plunderers and robbers. How important
this corn was! It might have been offered to the Gods as a request for
various favors and Indian women might have taken corn along when they
went to look for pottery clay, for clay was a scarce item here. And some
of the people might have worn little bags of corn around their necks.
Even in prehistoric times a corn cake would have tasted good. Green corn
was pounded into a pulp, patted into a cake and then baked on a hearth
of black stone over a little fireplace. And Indian women could have
greased the little cakes with the fat of a deer to make them tasty. When
the corn was all dry old women knelt before their angled metates set in
bins and with a hand-piece or mano of black basalt they ground. Their
fingernails were worn oblique on the ends from constant rubbing in
rhythmic time with a corn-grinding chant sung by the men as they beat a
drum or two. And they ground on three or four metates. First, they broke
the corn, then by the time it was passed on and ground on each of the
metates, it was transformed into fine corn flour. And lastly, it was
stored away or perhaps packed over the mountains to other villages. Some
of it might have been traded for buffalo hides by traders who penetrated
the buffalo region to the east, far out of the realm of the pueblos of
the Rio Grande and adjacent mountains.

    [Illustration: Grinding corn meal]

There were many uses for corn. Bundles of grass were bound together at
the tops with twisted corn shucks and used as brooms. And even
cigarettes could have been made by wrapping corn husks around the dry
leaves of some tobacco plant. Only the old men smoked. Smoking could
have taken place in one of the kivas at a time when a delegation arrived
from another pueblo. Keres and Tewas might have held council at Tyuonyi,
about Tyuonyi itself, and passed around from each to other a fire-stick
with a glowing end from the fireplace as a lighter. Mats and door-flaps
were made of plaited corn husks and it would not have been an uncommon
sight to find these coverings over the openings of some of the houses at
the base of the cliff. Corn was certainly an important item.

Archæologists have recovered beans also—pinto beans. It was a type known
to the Indians before the Spaniards ever thought about the New World.
During some of our excavation work I found that the people who had lived
in the Ceremonial Cave, far above the concentration of the Canyon’s
population, knew about beans as well as the rest of the dwellers. Beans
were one of the staple foods. The people at San Ildefonso today know
them as “tewatu.” It is possible that the same name was given beans at
prehistoric Frijoles.

There were many uses for gourds also. Half-sections were scraped clean
of their pulp and used as dippers and ladles. Whole gourds were used as
rattles in ceremonial dances. Broken pieces could have been used to
scrape and smooth wet pottery before it was fired.

Almost everywhere were products of the earth. And they were used to
their fullest extent. These people even knew about cotton. Whether it
was ever raised in Hidden Valley is questionable. Pieces of the simple
over-and-under weave cloth have been found in the ruins. The growing
season in the mountains might have been too short. It might be that
these Indians traded with their neighbors to the south for their
necessary supply of cotton. Cotton was woven into ceremonial
paraphernalia and also into garments. Men wore cotton breech clouts
while women wore large mantas of cotton cloth. This cloth was suspended
from one shoulder downward covering one side of the breast, wrapped once
around the waist and then taken up the back of the shoulder and tied in
a knot. A very important item was cotton.

All of the wild plants were utilized and especially when cultivated
crops gave out. There were many in the valley growing wild along the
fertile banks of the Rio de Los Frijoles. There were gooseberries,
currants, the berries of sumac, onions, milkweed, strawberries, blazing
star, horsemint, dandelions and prickly pears from the round leaf
cactus. Even the ball cactus might have been eaten. And surely many of
these were stored for later use. Little did these primitive dwellers
know what might befall them. Raids by hostile bands often destroyed
their fields. Fire might have been set to the roofs of their homes. A
period of drought could have been one of their worries even here in the
Valley of the Tyuonyi.

Mother Earth gave the Indian everything. She lavishly produced juniper
and piñon wood for fires, choke-cherry, juniper and oak for stout bows.
And there was hard wood for the foreshafts of arrows and cane for the
hind shafts to which turkey feathers were fastened as guides. She
produced sticks for clubbing rabbits to death. There was rabbit brush
for yellow paint. The leaves of yucca, when pounded up and dried, could
be twisted into stout rope and cord. Extremely tiny cords were used in
making fishnets. Strips of yucca were used in making baskets and also
for making brushes used in painting and decorating pottery. Stout strips
of the tough leaf were used for tying. And the Indian even knew how to
extract the medicinal properties from plants. The Valley of the Frijoles
produced for the primitive dweller most of the things he had to have for
successful living.

    [Illustration: Making pottery]

While Indian men, it seems, laid the walls of the houses and repaired
them, and cut the heavy roof timbers—while they planted corn and hunted,
the women were not idle. The art of pottery making has long been the
pride of pueblo women. They did the whole job from beginning to end.
They searched the river and arroyo banks for clay and they carried it to
their homes where it was kneaded and rolled out into long rod-like
strands. All pottery was coiled. They began at the very bottom and
brought the long strands of tempered clay round and round in the general
shape they desired. And then they patted and smoothed the vessel out
with wood or gourd scrapers. When it was dry, they applied a slipping or
wash coat over the outside. When this was done the vessel was decorated
with various crude designs. It was then put into an open fire smothered
with wood, corncobs, pine needles and grasses so that the heat would be
retained. This was their method of firing. When a vessel was removed
from the fire and the ashes wiped off, a dirty white background with
black designs appeared. There were several different types of this ware
made at Frijoles. Today we call this pottery a black-on-white ware.





The most common type known to the archæologist today is Biscuit ware. It
is so-called because it is exceptionally thick and porous. These Indians
made flat squatty bowls, and ollas—the common wide-necked jars. These
were inferior types and not nearly as good pottery as was made by other
Indian women at other villages. It was tempered with soft volcanic ash.
Tiny particles were worked into the soft clay to keep it from cracking
and resulted in a soft powdery ware which was easily broken. It is
possible that these women were not very well satisfied with their
pottery made from local materials. The same thing was true at all the
villages on the Pajarito. When water was put in the jars and bowls they
became soft. It certainly was not a satisfactory type of ware. And the
Indian women might have been very much ashamed. Pottery making was their
work, their art and their pride. But the materials in this country
simply did not make good hard pottery despite the ability of any
individual potter.

However, the Keres women made good hard pottery. They had the clays and
the tempers with which to work. They were still making the ware with the
slick red finish and glaze designs on the outside which was developed in
the Little Colorado district of western New Mexico and eastern Arizona.
They were even making the polychromes or multi-colored wares by this
time. Trading this pottery might have been the solution to the problem
of the Tewas even after the Keres-speaking people had been driven from
the Tyuonyi. New generations of Keres might have had a different way of
looking at things. Although the red glaze ware had become coarse and
heavy by this time, it surpassed the soft Biscuit wares made by these
valley women. They were probably glad to accept it in trade. From about
1400 A.D. all through to the abandonment of Frijoles Canyon, the glaze
wares were present. The glazes did not stop here but are found at Tewa
villages far to the north. These people, too, had been making the same
soft ware as did the dwellers in the Frijoles. So it does appear that
some sort of a relationship could have existed between Keres and
Tewa-speaking groups of people even during these late times.

    [Illustration: Pueblo beside a cliff]

The main occupation, it seems, lasted well up toward the close of the
sixteenth century. Several generations of Indians had lived here either
in cliff homes or pueblos on the floor of the Canyon. Any night might
have witnessed hundreds of tiny smokes emerging from smoke holes in
roofs. The glow from tiny fires inside the cliff rooms lighted the
doorways in the front walls. A sentry, perhaps, with bow and
sharp-pointed arrow was posted at the entrance to Puwige, the big
community house, or on some nearby high point where he could comb the
landscape with sharp eyes and would warn the pueblo dwellers that
warriors were approaching. A summer day would suggest men basking in the
sun or attempting to net out fish from the little river below. Women had
jars on their heads. Others were gathering berries and greens. A hunter
was greeted as he strolled forth triumphantly with wild game for a meal
or two. A sudden summer cloudburst of rain or hail—delightful and
refreshing and good for the corn too, interrupted the sameness of
things. The tiny drops sent an Indian mother with baby on her back
scampering for shelter. Children were running and laughing but ever
alert. These are only a few of the incidents of six hundred years of
living, primitive and insecure living, which went on in the Valley of
the Tyuonyi.

    [Illustration: Welcome rain]

Toward the close of the century the waters from the heavens stopped.
Corn fields dried up and the waters of the little river were no more.
The curse of the Southwest had hit again. The lands became drier and
drier as the days passed. Cliff homes were like ovens as the hot sun
beat down upon them. The same thing happened here as happened to their
ancestors in the west centuries before. The Tewas, living in the big
villages to the north, were experiencing the same thing. There was no
water in the canyons. Water holes had gone dry. And there was no water
from the heavens to be caught in great rock cisterns. Small groups began
to move. Others hung on. Could it be that Hidden Valley was to go the
way of all the rest? It was true. Moving was a necessity now.

    [Illustration: Abandoning the pueblo]

It is not known how many Indians lived at this place during those last
days of drought and it is possible that those who might have remained
did not wish to be left in Hidden Valley close to Keres land to the
south. So, slowly but surely, group after group trickled out of the
Valley of the Frijoles, leaving their homes to the mercy of the
elements. Within the course of a very short time the entire population
had evacuated. They crossed deep canyons and high potrero tops—dry
now—and helped to cut just a little deeper the very same old trails in
the soft rock, which had been worn down by thousands of moccasined feet
for countless generations. Before they left it seems that they must have
destroyed almost everything they possessed. Fire was set to the roof of
their large kiva. This was the end of the Tyuonyi. Hidden Valley had
witnessed its last great occupation. It had been occupied by Indians for
six centuries—Indians who had lived, raised corn and beans and squash
and pumpkins, and who had fought and died. The occupation of Frijoles
possibly was tottering at the time the Espejo expedition came up the Rio
Grande Valley in February of the year 1583. A few stragglers could have
still been here—who knows? But certainly by the close of the century
Tyuonyi was a thing of the past. The roofs to the houses were falling
in—timbers were rotting and cracking under the tremendous weight of
poles and brush and mud. Walls fell. It was a deserted town with a
background as colorful as any other pueblo in the Southwest. Hidden
Valley was still here but its actors were no more.

                               CHAPTER VI
                          Cliff Dwellers Again

By the close of the sixteenth century, it seems, all of the great
towns—the terraced community apartment houses on the Pajarito—had been
abandoned. Life in the hills and mountains had grown unbearable because
of a shortage of water. These people, I have no doubt, disliked leaving
their mountain homes. The mountains were more conducive to successful
living than the hot sandy banks of the Rio Grande. But this made no
difference now—moving was a necessity. Groups pushed off the mesa tops
and down the canyons into the Valley of the Rio Grande. Soon little
settlements sprang up. This move certainly must have been a step down
for the cliff and pueblo dwellers. They had lived for centuries on the
wooded mesa tops near high mountains and had drunk spring water. Now
they had only the muddy waters of the Rio Grande. They established the
village of Perage on the west bank of the river about a mile west of
their present pueblo of Powhoge or San Ildefonso. Other groups could
have gone to other Tewa-speaking villages. Just when the pueblo of San
Ildefonso was established is not certain but it was long, long ago.

Tewas could live in peace now and raise corn, beans, squash and
pumpkins, for here the muddy waters of the Rio Grande were ever flowing.
But it was not for the Tewas to say, or think, that they could live in
peace. The next Spanish expedition taught them this. The expedition
headed by Don Juan de Oñate was the colonizing expedition into New
Mexico. In 1598, soldiers, colonists, carts and baggage streamed up the
Valley of the Rio Grande and took possession of New Mexico in the name
of His Majesty, the King of Spain. This time the occupation was in
earnest. Four hundred or more settlers and soldiers marched up the
valley, the settlers with everything they possessed in the way of tools
and personal effects. Thousands of domestic animals were brought in. The
Spanish meant to stay this time.

In the north Tewa country, beyond San Ildefonso, was the Province of
Yunqueyunque which is thought to have been located near the present San
Juan Pueblo. It was here that the first capital city of New Mexico was
established by the Spanish on July 11, 1598. It was called San Gabriel.

It was about this time that the Tewa-speaking people on the Pajarito
Plateau were abandoning their homes in canyons and on mesa tops and
moving to the banks of the Rio Grande where they built the pueblo of San
Ildefonso. These Indians built the pueblo with rows of houses two and
three stories high and built their kivas on top of the ground instead of
below the ground as they had done in their former homes.

After Oñate had been removed from office as Governor of New Mexico, the
Viceroy appointed Don Pedro de Peralta and the capital was moved from
San Gabriel to Santa Fe in 1610. Governors changed. Each made new laws.
Indians were used as slaves. They produced goods for the Spanish.
Children went to school and all went to church. They took on
Christianity—yes, but they retained their old beliefs and old forms of
worship. Roman Catholic Missionaries built churches in many of the Rio
Grande pueblos which the Indians paid for. Some were flogged for not
wanting to go to church, but this new form of religion was forced upon
them. Hours were long and hard and taxes imposed by the Spanish were
exorbitant. This kept up for seven decades.

Rebellion was on the way. Acoma, the Sky City, was the first village to
rebel. This was quelled. Then the Jemez, then the pueblos of San Felipe
and Cochiti, our Keres-speaking friends, rebelled. Alameda and Isleta
were next. But these uprisings were not put down. It all ended up in the
bloody and terrible Pueblo Rebellion of 1680. Spaniards were murdered
right and left all over New Mexico. The Tewas of San Ildefonso were in
sympathy with the Rebellion. They had suffered too, and so they marched
with their allies regardless of creed, clan or language spoken, to Santa
Fe, the capital city. The remaining little handful of Spanish refugees
had gathered in the Palace of the Governors as a last resort. One white
cross and one red cross were sent to the Spanish Governor Otermin by the
Indians. White meant peace. Red meant war. The Governor chose war. But
the cause was hopeless now. The Spanish were outnumbered and their food
and water supply had been cut off. Surrender was the only alternative,
so, on August 21, the Spanish left the Palace and back-tracked down the
Valley of the Rio Grande. The Indian now had his land back. He could
live in peace along the banks of the river and raise his crops, so he
thought. No more toil and no more taxes. But this Utopia was not to be

Even though the Navaho had taken an active part in the uprisings, he
began to cause trouble as soon as the Spanish were out of New Mexico.
The Pueblo people had not counted on this. The Navaho had taken
everything from the Spaniard that he could use against him, including
the horse. As soon as the weakened Pueblo people thought they had rid
themselves of trouble and war and killing, the wild Navaho took
advantage of the situation. Terror reigned for a decade or more. The
Navaho swooped down upon the pueblos at night, plundering and killing.
Putting up with the Spanish might have been easier to take than this.
But all was to change again. Don Diego de Vargas marched up the Rio
Grande with another colonizing expedition, soldiers and missionaries.
Pueblo after pueblo was reconquered and Santa Fe was re-entered in 1693.
The Pueblo people were not too hard to bring to submission this time.
The Spanish would help their warriors to drive off their enemies. The
pueblos had had about all they could take from the Navaho.

Then there were the Tewa villages to be dealt with up the Rio Grande
between Santa Fe and the pueblo of San Juan. The San Ildefonso Tewa fled
to a high black rock known as “Black Mesa.” It had been used by them for
years as a place of defense. From its top the country can be seen for
miles around. It was here that they held out against the Spanish
soldiers from January until September of 1694. They finally surrendered
after several unsuccessful assaults at their rock and a siege which
lasted for five days. Black Mesa figures considerably in the mythology
of the Tewas. They say that during this seven-months period while their
people were besieged on the high mesa top, brave men descended through
the precipitous gap during the night to the Rio Grande below to get
water for their marooned people. Black Mesa is sometimes known as
“Mesita Huerfano” or “Orphan Mesa.” It is said that a giant lived here
at one time and caught children from the pueblo which he and his wife
and daughter ate. He was at last killed by the Tewa War Gods. Legend has
it that the giant’s heart is still on the mesa top in the form of a
white rock.

We have almost forgotten the Keres-speaking people to the south who were
also having trouble. During the Rebellion, the Cochitenos abandoned
their pueblo and moved back up the Cañada de Cochiti to Kotyiti. This
was, according to their legends, the last site they occupied after being
driven from the Tyuonyi and before establishing the present Cochiti on
the banks of the Rio Grande. Kotyiti was built on top of a high mesa
known to the Spanish as “Potrero Viejo.” It is a mesa about two miles
long and several hundred feet high. It was a natural fortress for the
Indians, and it was to this fortress that the Keres moved back and built
their homes shortly after the beginning of the Rebellion. This fortress
was known as “Hanat Cochiti” or “Cochiti Above.” With the coming of
Diego de Vargas in 1693, the Indians fled from the pueblo on the river
to their mesa and put up a stiff battle, but in vain. After their
reconquest, broken and tired of trouble, they moved back to Cochiti in
1694 where they have been ever since.

But what trouble the Tewas of San Ildefonso did have! There suddenly
came another outburst of pueblo rebellion in June of 1696 and the people
of San Ildefonso burned their beautiful church which had been built for
them by the Spanish with Indian labor, sweat, blood and taxes. Two
priests were caught in the burning building as well as several other
Spaniards. There they all perished. The San Ildefonso Tewa have a legend
and a belief that they should always move to the south and never to the
north. But someone wanted the pueblo moved to the north. And so there
was a contest between good people and sorcerers, and the sorcerers won
by witchcraft. The pueblo was moved to the north. The San Ildefonso
people believe that this is the reason why they had pestilence and
famines, and why their people decreased in numbers. Such trouble they

Could it be that during these trying and troublesome years at the close
of the seventeenth century, some of these heart-sick and war-weary
Indians decided that life back on the high forested mesa tops or in deep
canyons to the south where their ancestors had lived, just a century
before, would be better than this? Could they tear themselves away from
their brethren at night and sneak south, back into the hills and down
into deep canyons protected by high vertical cliffs, even into Hidden
Valley? Spanish soldiers on horseback could not find them here. They
could not follow the old Indian trails. Perhaps those known as the “good
people” of San Ildefonso were so opposed to moving their pueblo a little
to the north that they refused to have any part in this plan and
preferred moving far to the south.

To assume that such a move took place would not be folly even if we had
no supporting evidence. Families could have removed themselves to the
hills of the Pajarito. Here Hidden Valley offered them protection. It
was deep in the south country and water had returned to the creek. The
drought period was over and there would be water from the heavens again.
The old abandoned dwellings in Frijoles Canyon were in ruins. Roof
timbers had rotted and walls had fallen. These were the homes of their
ancestors. But with very little work these homes could be made livable
again. And so, in a remote section in the lower end of Frijoles, the
Indians again went to work in a group of rooms high above the floor of
the Canyon. They were a quarter-mile from the ruins of the Long House
and Puwige which were in open sight.

Like true cliff dwellers in prehistoric times they rebuilt old homes
into new ones. Rooms were cleaned out. The old roof structures were
removed from the inside. Loose building stones were removed from the
broken-down walls. And the cave rooms above were also cleaned out.
Indian men again cut pine timbers for roof poles with crude stone axes.
They rebuilt walls and laid the poles over the tops. Indian women mixed
mud—good hard Tewa mud. They brought in clay from nearby arroyos or from
the Rio Grande and raised their talus houses two stories high. Some of
the caves, after a hundred years, had eroded beyond use. Doorways and
fronts had fallen. Indians gathered fallen building blocks strewn along
the base of the cliff which had been fashioned by their ancestors. They
built artificial fronts to the caves and plastered them over with mud.
Fine clay mortar was smeared over the floor and rough surfaced walls.
Doorways were built in the front walls of houses. Ladders were built. A
corn patch was planted. Game likely was plentiful now. Black volcanic
glass was chipped into sharp arrow points. A deer or two were brought in
triumphantly from a hunt. And they created new homes for themselves and
brought life back to Hidden Valley while their kin and kind struggled on
and on with Spaniard and Navaho.

Safe at last, they lived again. Corn was harvested in the fall of the
year and shucked and stored. Indian women ground corn on old worn
metates left there a century before and the men again chanted away in
time with the beat of a drum which echoed between steep canyon walls.
Baskets were made of juniper and yucca. Blankets of fur and feathers
were sewn together. Stout cord was twisted from the fibers of yucca.
Indian women made brooms of grass tied with corn husks and yucca fiber
to sweep their sooty rooms, while brown-skinned babies rolled in the
dust. Gourds were scraped and made into utility vessels and Indian women
again carried water in urns on the tops of their heads from the little
creek far below.

It undoubtedly took some readjustment to live in the cliffs again after
a century of acculturational contact with the Spanish. Just how many
Indians or how large a group returned to the Canyon homes is not known.
But by this time we see that the Indian had acquired a few things from
the Spanish either by trade or thievery. This little group brought with
them pieces of metal and wooden objects of possible foreign origin,
objects brought in by the Spanish to the Rio Grande. One such object,
which we found, was a two-pronged pick of viburnum, elaborately carved
on top with a sharp steel blade. It was not much longer than a hair-pin
and reminded one of such. Its use is still puzzling. And the Indians
brought woolen cloth which was definitely post-Spanish. The Spaniards
had brought the sheep to New Mexico. The weave of the cloth was such
that it could not be mistaken. Could it have been from a Spanish garment
or was it Indian-made? It is even possible that these people were
wearing woven garments of wool when they reoccupied the Frijoles.

The little community was a poor one. There is no doubt about it. The
Indian made fire in the same old way with fire drills. A blunt round
piece of wood was turned so fast in the groove of a flat piece of wood
that fire was produced. These people used cultivated tobacco at this
time—a variety never before discovered in the Southwest of this early
age. During a moment of temptation, the writer rolled a cigarette from
part of this Indian mix which he found buried in a small red bowl. He
smoked it without any ill effects. It looked like tobacco, smelled like
tobacco and tasted like tobacco. Discarded fragments of pipes were found
which had bowls of hard wood burned through. Moccasins of deer skin sewn
together with sinew were found. Could they have been made in Frijoles
Canyon or were they brought into the valley by these Indians? Whichever
was the case, they were worn out. One pair was half-soled—not like our
half-soles today, but on the inside. A new piece of buckskin had been
cut and fitted and sewn to the inside of one of the worn-out moccasins
which had been discarded.

The chirp of a turkey hen or the gobble of a gobbler created a dead
silence in any primitive household. The calls echoed and could be heard
for a half-mile. Even today, we stop and listen and follow the call just
for a glimpse of the wild turkey. It is exciting. A tenseness of nerve
and muscle envelops a person. An Indian father crept noiselessly down
the steep slope to the valley far below—stopped, listened—not a sound
but the whining of the wind through the high tops of pines or the caw of
a raven flying high above, or the rolling waters of the little river.
Following again and picking each step, bow and arrow in hand, ready to
draw, he stopped. The turkeys were coming closer and behind a rock he
hid or laid close to the little river out of sight. They were almost
upon him, feeding peacefully on grasshoppers and bugs. A well directed
arrow would mean meat for the whole family. That the Indian used only
the feathers of the turkey is an idea of the past. The broken food bones
are found in the ruins of ancient homes. Besides using the meat of the
turkey for food, the Indian used the feathers for ceremonial purposes
and strips of turkey feather spines made excellent wrappings for making
arrow guides.

    [Illustration: Decaying pueblo]

Such was life in Hidden Valley after the conquest of New Mexico by the
Spanish. Living in the Tyuonyi at this time was apparently a necessity.
It could again have been our Tewa-speaking friends who raised corn,
beans, squash and pumpkins in the beautiful and colorful Valley of the
Frijoles and who watched the sun, day after day, pass down behind the
cliff to the land of Sipapu. But time again had a way of making things
right, though not just as the Indian desired it. After the close of the
seventeenth century, it seems, Frijoles was abandoned again. The Indians
left their cliff homes and moved back to the Valley of the Rio Grande.
There was little trouble with the Spanish from then on and the Indian
wars were over and all were subdued and the ancient homes in Frijoles
continued to crumble and walls continued to fall. A little time was all
that was necessary to completely cover the abandoned dwellings. Howling
winds beat sharp particles of dirt against crumbling walls and
eventually filled them in and covered them. Deep kivas were no more.
Small stones, boulders and dust fell from the cliffs covering up talus
houses. Huge slides covered many homes and the wind and rain beat
against the vulnerable cliff walls and eroded many of the caves almost
beyond identification. Indian occupation was ended now but Hidden Valley
still remained. The Rito de Los Frijoles continued to cut its course
deeper and deeper through the soft volcanic ash as it had done through
six hundred years of Indian living. Struggle had ended over the Tyuonyi.
It was deserted to the ravages of time. To the south the Keres were
settled now, and to the north the Tewas. They were content; and Hidden
Valley was left alone.

                              CHAPTER VII
                            The Spanish Era

The early part of the eighteenth century saw the Spanish interested in
more than Pueblo Indians. There was the actual colonization of New
Mexico and the war with France which drew their attention. New Mexican
land was divided into tracts or land grants. The Spanish had combed it
all. They knew about the canyon today known as the “Frijoles,” the
Tyuonyi of the Cochiti Indians. The tract lay just south of the bounds
of what is known as the “Ramon Vigil Grant.” It was in litigation much
of the time. The land was cleared, broken and put under cultivation
during the latter part of the eighteenth century. The valley floor was
cleared and no doubt some of the homes occupied by Indians years before
were obliterated. This valley was given the name of El Rito de Los
Frijoles sometime prior to the year 1780. For years, people have said
that the Canyon derived its name from the fact that Indians raised beans
here in prehistoric times. True, prehistoric Indians did grow beans at
Frijoles but the derivation of its name probably had no connection with
any Indian occupation.

With the coming of a new century, Spanish people were accused of living
in the caves of the Rito like barbarians. This picturesque Hidden Valley
was a rendezvous for cattle thieves and persons whose characters could
be questioned. It was a den for robbers who greatly troubled the people
around the country, so, in 1811 the Spanish Governor ordered all its
inhabitants to move out. The Canyon must have been occupied more or less
continuously throughout the nineteenth century by farming groups of
Spanish-Americans. And they were troubled by Indian raids from time to
time until the latter part of the century.



The walls of ancient caves today are pocked with nail holes.
Sheepherders might have camped for a while and left initials and dates
picked in the soft stone. Cow bones strewn at the base of the cliff, now
dry and white and brittle with age, are the only sad memorials of what
went on. And many are the hidden legends. Every little canyon in the
locality has a name. Something happened to give them their names. One,
Water Canyon, was formerly known as “Diesmo” or “Ten-Percent Canyon,”
because a priest collected ten percent of the lambs from sheep owners as
a tithe for the church and herded his flocks in this valley. Everything
has a meaning in this colorful land. There still exists today a circular
platform of blocks of tuff on the floor of Frijoles Canyon. Local
farmers claim that it belonged to them and their fathers before them. It
was used as a threshing floor. I have heard that it was a dance pavilion
or platform and was advised that if I brought over some of the Indian
women from San Ildefonso and asked them to do what they were supposed to
do, they would begin dancing the ring dance. The stories are many but
will the truth ever be known? Time is slipping by.

Within quite recent years the Navaho has used the old trails, just
passing through, going to some pueblo to trade perhaps. Even Zuñi
Indians have passed through the Valley of the Tyuonyi—resting a few
minutes and drinking of the waters of El Rito de Los Frijoles as they
might have done in years past when they were supposed to have visited
the Stone Lions to the south. And Indians from Cochiti have returned to
their Tyuonyi during summer months to raise a little corn. These people
religiously return to the homes of their ancestors. Even today, certain
of the old Tewa men from northern pueblos trudge south into timbered
mountainous country and erect shrines near their ancestral homes. They
carve miniature pueblos three and four stories high out of volcanic
boulders of soft ash. They build altars and burn ceremonial fires. They
dig holes in the soft ground, line them with little rocks and cover the
holes with green branches from the juniper tree. Many times I have seen
evidences of these ceremonies along dry arroyo banks on the Pajarito

                              CHAPTER VIII
                             Present Times

In 1880, Adolph F. Bandelier, famous Swiss ethnologist, archivist and
historian, entered the Valley of the Frijoles.

At the time, he was connected with the Archæological Institute of
America and had been sent to New Mexico to work among the Indians who
today live in mud-walled pueblos up and down the banks of the Rio
Grande. Bandelier spent a great many days at Santo Domingo and Cochiti
seeking out legends and myths regarding the people’s past and present
and it was from the Cochitenos that Bandelier learned of Tyuonyi.
Bandelier’s descriptions of the surrounding country are thoroughly
detailed. He must have possessed a very keen mind to have so well
described geographical features in such brief association. He entered
Frijoles Canyon, the Tyuonyi of the Cochiti Indians, on October 23 of
that year.

It has been said that Bandelier lived in the caves of the Rito de Los
Frijoles, and, according to stories passed around by hearsay, he could
have lived in a dozen different caves. It would be nice, and perhaps
poetic, to say that the famous student hung his coat or his hat on such
and such a nail, when wire nails such as are found in these caves
probably did not exist during Bandelier’s visits to the Canyon. The
general opinion among people who remember Bandelier is that he did spend
some time in one particular cave high above the Canyon floor. It was a
double-chambered cave overlooking Puwige and the entire broad and open
lower end of the Canyon. The view was perfect. It might have been here
that Bandelier organized some of his notes which resulted in the
never-to-be-forgotten ethno-historic novel, _The Delight Makers_. People
have said that Adolph Bandelier lived for years at Frijoles, but this is
not true. His investigation of practically the entire Southwest took
only five years to complete. So we might limit his stay to days, but
those days counted. It was Bandelier’s intent to portray history and
archæology in the guise of fiction and here he laid the basis for his
famous novel which brought fifteenth-century dwellers of the Tyuonyi to
life again.

The works of Charles F. Lummis will never be forgotten—_The Land of Poco
Tiempo_; _Mesa, Canyon and Pueblo_. Bandelier and Lummis were very good
friends and although their opinions and ideas conflicted at times, this
friendship was never broken. Many times has Lummis visited Frijoles and
many times has he stayed in the old Indian cave rooms, even in quite
recent times, when other accommodations were available.

In 1907, Judge A. J. Abbot settled in the Valley of the Frijoles. He
built a ranch house out of the ancient building stones of volcanic ash.
The stones came from Puwige, the big community house. Cut and fashioned
in the sixteenth century or thereabout, by prehistoric Indians, they
were used again. The place was known as “Ten Elder Ranch,” because of
the box-elder trees growing nearby. The ranch changed hands three times
and was subsequently known as “Frijoles Canyon Ranch” until the old
buildings were torn down and replaced by modern unique pueblo style
buildings designed by government engineers and known as “Frijoles Canyon
Lodge.” It would be an utter impossibility to name all of the famous
personages who have visited Frijoles or were entertained at the old
ranch place. The Commoners and the Nobility, people from the four
corners of the globe came, some of them leaving a little remembrance or
token of their appreciation—a poem about the Frijoles perhaps, a card, a
thank-you letter, an invitation—they are too numerous to mention.

In 1916, the area was created a National Monument and named in honor of
Adolph Francis Alphonse Bandelier. It has been known as such ever since.
But to the “old timers” it is still the “Rito” or “El Rito de Los
Frijoles.” They remember the times they either walked or came on
horseback from the north rim into the boundary valley—the valley between
ancient Keres and Tewa lands—into a Hidden Valley clustered with the
works of primitive Indians, the ruins alone being capable of revealing
the incidents of a buried and hidden past. Their heads are gray now and
they remember with the semblance of tears in their eyes.

From 1916 until 1932, the entire area was under the administration of
the United States Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. At
this time it was transferred to the National Park Service, Department of
the Interior. Thousands of visitors go to Bandelier every year chiefly
just to look at this magnificent Valley of the Frijoles. A new modern
highway replaces the old trail from the north cliff. The visitor now
drives down to the valley floor to spend an hour or so on a tour
conducted by the National Park Service, to hear the story of how Indians
lived in the cliff homes and in pueblos long before Columbus discovered
America. They wonder about cliff dwellers while ravens soar above the
valley floor and caw just as they did four hundred years ago. They see
the visible remains of the great kiva on the Canyon floor and stroll on
to Puwige, the big community house. They view over two hundred excavated
rooms, four hundred years old. They see the narrow passage through the
east side and the remains of obstructions used to slow down the
attackers of old. And then they climb to the base of the weathered and
sun-drenched cliffs where many an Indian woman swept rubbish from her
kitchen out on to the steep slope and ground many an ear of corn on
crude metate. Visitors climb into caves, the floors covered with dust
and ceilings still blackened with smoke. They push the hands of the
clock back to the Stone Age, while the Keres to the south go on living
on the banks of the muddy Rio Grande, apparently forgetting that there
ever was a Tyuonyi, war or trouble; and while the Tewas to the north,
having settled themselves, seem to have forgotten their ancestral
home—the “Frijoles,” the National Park Service strives to protect,
preserve, and make the ruins in Hidden Valley live again.

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  Acoma (áh-ko-mah). “People of the White Rock”; Keres-speaking village
          of the western group occupied since prehistoric times.
  adobe (a-dóugh-bay). Thick mud with high clay content; also a
          sun-baked brick made of clay.
  Alameda (alah-máy-dah). “Cottonwood Grove”; Spanish-American village.
  Albuquerque (al-bu-kér-keh). Largest city in New Mexico; named after
          the Duke of Alburquerque, Viceroy of Mexico.
  Antonio de Espejo (day es-páy-ho). Leader of the third Spanish
          expedition into New Mexico in 1583.
  arroyo (ah-ró-yo). Water course or channel seasonally dry.
  awanyu (uh-wan-you). “Plumbed or feathered serpent”; mythological
          guardian of springs.

  Bandelier (ban-duh-leér). Author of _The Delight Makers_; student,
          archæologist, historian and linguist who spent much time among
          the Keres. Bandelier lived at the pueblo of Cochiti and was
          very popular among the Indians.
  Bernalillo (bear-nah-lée-yoh). Apparently a diminutive of Bernal;
          founded by Vargas in 1695; present-day Spanish-American
  bigotes (bee-gó-tes). “Whiskers.”
  buckskin. The tanned hide of a deer.

  canyon. A deep valley with high steep slopes.
  Canyon del Alamo (del á-lah-mo). “Cottonwood Canyon.”
  Cachiti (ká-chee-tee). Keres-speaking village of the sixteenth
          century; of obscure etymology.
  Cañada de Cochiti (ka-nyá-da day kó-cha-tee). “Cochiti Canyon.” Cañada
          refers to a shallow and wide canyon.
  Capulín (ka-poo-léen). “Chokecherry.” Chokecherry Canyon.
  Chaco (chá-ko). A canyon in northwestern New Mexico. Chaco Canyon
          National Monument.
  cibola (sée-bo-lah). “Buffalo.”
  Cochiti. Spanish for Cachiti.
  cacique (ka-cee-ke). Chief religious officer in a pueblo. There are
          usually two town chiefs in each pueblo representing two
          separate moities either Turquoise or Squash.
  Coronado (koro-náh-tho). Leader of the first Spanish expedition into
          New Mexico in 1540.
  cronies. Old people; friends; chums.
  Cuapa (coo-áh-pa). Prehistoric village of the Keres-speaking people;
          meaning unknown.

  diesmo (diéz-mo). “Ten percent”; tithe; refers to present-day Water
  Don Diego de Vargas (don deeáy-go day vár-gas). Leader of the
          reconquest of New Mexico in 1693 after the Pueblo Rebellion of
  Don Juan de Oñate (hwan day o-yná-te). Leader of the colonizing
          expedition into New Mexico in 1598.
  Don Pedro de Peralta (páy-dro day pe-rál-tah). Successor to Oñate as
          Governor of New Mexico in 1610.

  El Rito de Los Frijoles (el ree-toe day los free-hó-lays). “The little
          river of the beans”; bean creek.

  Franciscans (fran-cis-cans). Religious order established by Saint
          Francis of Assisi.
  Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado (fran-cées-co sán-chess chamoos-cáh-tho).
          Leader of the second Spanish expedition into New Mexico in
  friar (fryer). Member of a male religious order.

  Haatze (ha-áht-say). “Earth”; “World”; a ruin of the Keres southwest
          of Tyuonyi.
  Hanat Cochiti (há-not kó-cha-tee). “Cochiti Above”; Potrero Viejo.
  Hemes (háy-mess). Indian pueblo thirty odd miles west of Bandelier
          National Monument.
  Hernando de Alvarado (er-nán-do day al-var-áh-tho). Captain under
          Coronado during the expedition of 1540.

  Isleta (ees-láy-tah). “Little Island”; modern Indian village located
          about thirteen miles south of Albuquerque on the banks of the
          Rio Grande.

  Jemez (háy-mess). Spanish for Hemes.

  katsina (cot-sée-nah). Supernatural being.
  Keres (care-es). Language spoken by the people at Cochiti, Santo
          Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana and Sia; there are also the
          western Keres villages of Acoma and (historic) Laguna not
          included here.
  kiva (key-vah). Ceremonial chamber; men’s club house.
  Kotyiti (cóat-yi-tee). Of obscure etymology; Old Cochiti; Hanat
          Cochiti; Potrero Viejo.

  La Bajada (lah bah-háh-tha). “The steep slope”; a hill between
          Albuquerque and Santa Fe was given this name.
  La Cueva Pintada (lah cuáy-vah peen-táh-tha). “The Painted Cave”;
          located southwest of Tyuonyi in Capulin Canyon.
  Los Confiados (los cone-feeáh-thos). “The Trusting Souls” (people); a
          mythical town near Cochiti named by the Spanish in 1583.

  mano (máh-no). “Hand”; hand-piece of flat stone for grinding corn.
  manta (mán-ta). “Dress”; “Blanket.”
  Marcos de Nisa (már-kos day née-sah). A Franciscan friar.
  mesa (máy-sah). Flat-topped high hill or table land.
  Mesa Verde (vér-they). “Green”; now a National Park in southwestern
  Mesita Huerfano (may-sée-tah weár-fa-no). “Orphan Mesa”; Black Mesa.
  metate (may-táh-tay). Flat stone for grinding corn. Base stone.
  moccasins. Heel-less shoe of soft leather worn by Indians,
  moiety. A division of a tribe in which the cacique, either Summer or
          Winter, has charge of the ceremonials during his respective

  Navaho (náh-vah-ho). Semi-nomadic Indians living west of the pueblo
  Navawi (náh-vah-wee). “Place of a hunting trap”; “pit-fall gap”;
          ruined pueblo northeast of Tyuonyi.
  neolithic (nee-o-lith-ik). New stone age.

  olla (ó-yah). Pottery jar for water.
  Otermin (o-ter-méen). Governor of New Mexico at the outbreak of the
          Pueblo Rebellion of 1680.

  padre (páh-dray). Monk or priest.
  Pajarito (pah-ha-rée-toe). “Little Bird”; Pajarito Plateau.
  Pecos (pay-kos). “Place down where the stone is on top”; Indian
          village east of the Rio Grande.
  Perage (pear-áh-gay). “Small rodent which jumps like a kangaroo”;
          “place of a species of kangaroo rat”; a ruined pueblo across
          the Rio Grande from San Ildefonso.
  pinto (peen-toe). A type of bean grown by Indians in prehistoric
  piñon (pee-ynón). Edible seed of pine; pinus edulis.
  plaza (pláh-sah). “Inner court”; area in the center of a town for
          public gathering.
  potrero (po-tré-roh). High, narrow mesa-top between canyons.
  Potsui’i (póte-su-wee-ee). “Gap where the water sinks”; prehistoric
          pueblo northeast of Tyuonyi.
  Pohoge (po-hó-gay). “Where the water cuts down through”; Tewa name for
          San Ildefonso.
  prehistoric. Referring to times before the Coronado expedition of
  pueblo (pwé-blo). “Village”; “Town.”
  Puwige (poo-wí-gay). “Where the bottoms of the pottery vessels are
          wiped or smoothed thin”; ruined pueblo on the floor of
          Frijoles Canyon; the big community house. Sometimes called

  Quirex (keer-esh). Province of five Keresan villages on the Rio Grande
          in 1540.

  ramada (rah-máh-tha). Open flat-roofed porch built of poles and brush;
          a shelter.
  Ramon Vigil Grant (rah-móan vee-híll). Huge tract of land north of
          Frijoles Canyon.
  Rio Chama (ree-oh chá-mah). “Chama River.”
  Rio Grande (ree-oh grán-day). “Big River.”

  Sandia (san-déea). “Watermelon”; also a modern Tiwa-speaking Indian
          pueblo twelve miles north of Albuquerque occupied since
          prehistoric times.
  Sangre de Cristo (sán-gray day crées-to). “Blood of Christ”; refers to
          a mountain range rising to great heights.
  San Felipe (san fay-leé-pay). “Saint Phillip”; modern pueblo of the
          Keres group occupied since prehistoric times.
  San Gabriel (san gah-breeáyl). First capital of New Mexico; in the
          vicinity of San Juan Pueblo.
  San Ildefonso (san ill-day-fáhn-so). Modern Indian village speaking
          the Tewa language; twenty miles northwest of Santa Fe on the
          banks of the Rio Grande.
  San Juan (san hwán). Modern Indian village speaking the Tewa language;
          about thirty miles northwest of Santa Fe. Not to be mistaken
          for the San Juan area in northwestern New Mexico.
  Sankawi (sáng-ka-wee). “Gap of the sharp round cactus”; “place of the
          round cactus”; prehistoric pueblo northeast of Tyuonyi.
  Santa Ana (sán-tah ana). Modern Indian village speaking the Keres
  Santo Domingo (sánto do-míng-go). Modern Indian village speaking the
          Keres language.
  Shipapolima (she-pa-po-lee-ma). Place where the Zuñi people entered
          this world; spiritual entrance to the underworld.
  Sia (see-a). Modern Indian village speaking the Keres language;
          occupied since prehistoric times.
  Sipapu (see-pa-poo). Spiritual entrance to the underworld of certain
          Pueblo Indians; an opening is generally found in the kiva
          floor and is called Sipapu; similar to Shipapolima.

  talus (tay-lus). A slope formed at the base of a cliff by material
          falling from above.
  Tanos (táh-nos). Applied to various groups of people who inhabited the
          country east of the Rio Grande south of the San
          Ildefonso-Tesuque Tewa region.
  Tewa (tay-wa). Language spoken by certain Pueblo Indians; they are:
          San Ildefonso, Nambe, Tesuque, Santa Clara and San Juan.
  tewatu (tay-wa-too). “Tewa beans”; pinto beans.
  Tiguex (tee-wesh). Province of prehistoric Indian villages on the
          banks of the Rio Grande between Bernalillo and Albuquerque, a
          distance of about seventeen miles.
  Tiwa (tee-wa). Language spoken by certain groups of Indians; Taos,
          Picuris, Sandia and Isleta.
  Towa (toe-wa). Language spoken by Jemez Indians and by those of Pecos
          before its abandonment in 1837.
  Tshirege (ser-i-gay). “House of the Bird People”; prehistoric pueblo
          northeast of Tyuonyi.
  Tyuonyi (q’own-yee). A word having a signification akin to that of
          treaty or contract; Frijoles Canyon, Hidden Valley.

  viejo (veeáy-ho). “Old”; old man.
  viga (vee-gah). “Roof beam.”

  Yapashi (yap-a-she). “Sacred Enclosure”; name of pueblo ruin south of
  yucca (yuc-cuh). Plant with long spiked leaves; commonly known as
          Spanish bayonet.
  Yuqueyunque (you-gay-o-wíng-gay). Of obscure etymology; “down at the
          mocking bird place”; province visited by the Spanish in 1540.

  Zuñi (zoo-nee). Indian Pueblo of western New Mexico; only survivor of
          the Seven Cities of Cibola.
  Zuñian (zoo-nee-un). Linguistic stock of Zuñi Indians.


  Abbot, Judge A. J., 80
  Acoma, 67
  Agriculture, 55, 74
  Alameda, 67
  Albuquerque, 6
  Archaeological Institute of America, 79
  Articrafts, 72, 73
  Awanyu, 38

  Bandelier, Adolph F., 1, 79, 80, 81
  Bandelier National Monument, 17
      created, 81
  Beans in Ceremonial Cave, 59
  Bernalillo, 6
  Bigotes, 6
  Biscuit ware, 61, 62
  Black Mesa, 69
  Blood floors, 39
  Bowls, 61
  Buckman, settlement of, 1
      the man, 1

  Cable-way, 5
  Cachiti, 9
  Cacique, 47, 52
  Canada de Cochiti, 10, 12, 69
  Canyon del Alamo, 14
  Capulin Canyon, 12, 13
  Ceremonial Cave, 39
      loom in, 40
  Chaco Canyon, 19, 25
  Chamuscado, Captain Francisco Sanchez, 8, 9
  Chapman, Kenneth, 1
  Christianity, 6
  Cochiti Pueblo, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 67, 70
      people, 13, 69, 77, 79
      origin, 31
  Community apartment houses, 34, 40, 53
  Corn, 56
      uses, 57, 58
      trading, 58
  Coronado, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 42
  Cotton, 59
  Cuapa, 31

  Drought, 18, 60, 63, 71
      1276-1299, 19
  Dwarfs, 12, 30

  Espejo, Antonio de, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 65

  Frey, Mrs. Evelyn C., 4
  Frijoles Canyon Lodge, 80

  Glaze pottery, 28, 61, 62
  Gourds, 59
  Great Period, 42, 47, 48, 51, 53

  Haatze, 29, 30
  Hanat Cochiti, 69
  Hemes, Province of, 10
  Hewett, Edgar L., 1

  Isleta Pueblo, 67

  Jemez River, 9
      mountain range, 10, 11
      Pueblo, 67

  Keres, 26, 27, 29, 30, 36, 44, 45
      language, 7, 9, 10, 25
      lead Spanish, 11, 14, 15
      legends, 12, 25, 30, 31, 32
      ancient territory, 13, 22
      make treaty, 16
      lands as a Monument, 17
      pottery, 61
  Kidder, A. V., 1
  King Charles, 6
  King of Spain, 66
  Kivas, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53
      in cliffs, 47
      entrances, 48, 51
      legends, 49
      ventilators, 51
      pits, 51
      plastering, 52
      sipapu, 52
      visitors see, 81
  Kotyiti, 69

  La Baja Hill, 1
      Mesa, 1, 3
  La Cueva Pintada, 13
  Ladders, 34, 35, 43, 46
  Little Colorado River District, 27, 61
  Little Strong People, 12, 15, 16, 30, 31, 32, 43, 45, 48
  Long House, 38, 41, 42, 53
  Los Confiados, 9, 10
      Spanish visit, 11, 12
  Lummis, Charles F., 80

  Manes, 58
  Mera, H. P., 1
  Mesa Verde, 19, 25, 40
  Metates, 58
  Morley, Sylvanus, G., 1
  Moslem Invasion of Spain, 18

  National Park Service, 81, 82
  Navaho, 12, 44, 68, 72, 77
  Navawi, 29, 54
  New Mexico, colonization of, 76
  Nisa, Marcos de, 6
  Nusbaum, Jesse, 1

  Old Man Pankey’s Pasture, 3
  Ollas, 33, 56, 61
  Old trail, 2, 3, 4, 5, 81
  Oñate Don Juan de, 66
      removed, 67
  Otermin, 68

  Pajarito Plateau, 8, 10, 11, 16, 22, 24, 25, 27, 31, 32, 41, 54,
      Keres driven out, 12
      first occupation, 20, 21
      pueblo architecture, 29
      abandonment, 66
  Palace of the Governors, 68
  Pecos, 6
  Perage, 66
  Peralta, Don Pedro de, 67
  Pictographs, 38
  Plants, 59, 60, 72
  Pleistocene Period, 11
  Pliocene Period, 11
  Plumed serpent, 38
  Potrero Viejo, 31
  Potsui’i, 29, 54
  Pottery, 33, 56, 60, 61
      trading, 62
  Powhoge, 66
  Pre-Cambrian Rocks, 34
  Pueblo of the Stone Lions, 13, 30
  Pueblo Rebellion, 27, 68
  Puwige, the big community house, 3, 41, 42, 44, 47, 53
      shape, 43
      halfway, 43, 62
      fortified, 45, 46
      kivas, 46
      plaza, 57
      Bandelier’s cave, 79
      stones for ranch house, 80
      visitors, 81
  Pygmies, 15

  Quirex, Province of, 7

  Ramadas, 37
  Ramon Vigil Grant, 76
  Ring Dance, 77
  Rio Chama, 8
      as a boundary, 11
  Rio Grande, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 22, 25, 31, 32, 34
      description, 7
      as a boundary, 11
      White Rock Canyon, 12
      first occupation, 18, 19
      trade, 27
      as a hunting ground, 55
      expedition in 1598, 66
      churches, 67
      Spanish leave, 68
      expedition in 1693, 68
  Rito de Los Frijoles, 22, 32, 51, 75, 77, 81
      derivation of name, 76
  Roman Catholic Missionaries, 67

  Sandia Pueblo, 31
  San Felipe Pueblo, 7, 9, 31, 67
  San Gabriel, 67
  Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 20
  San Ildefonso, 43, 66, 67, 70
      legends, 70
  San Juan area, 18
  San Juan Pueblo, 7, 8, 38, 45, 67
  Sankawi, 29, 54
  Santa Ana Pueblo, 7, 9
  Santa Fe, 4, 20
      capital moved, 67
  Santo Domingo Pueblo, 7, 9, 31, 79
      origin, 31
  Seven Cities of Cibola, 6
  Shipapolima, 13
  Sia Pueblo, 7, 9
  Sipapu, 38, 52, 74
  Social and ceremonial organization, 47
  Stone Age, 82
  Stone Lions Shrine, 13, 31, 77

  Tanos, 31
  Ten Elder Ranch, 3, 80
  Tewa, 7, 16, 25, 26, 27, 30, 36, 38, 43, 45, 68
      dwarfs, 12
      lands as a Monument, 7
      villages, to north, 29, 32, 62, 63
      penetrate Frijoles, 32, 33
      contact Spanish, 39
      villages during Rebellion, 69
      War Gods, 69
      men trudge south, 77
  Threshing floor, 77
  Tiguex, Province of, 6, 7, 9, 10, 42
      Spanish return, 7, 45
      winter of Spanish expedition, 8
  Tiwa, 25, 31
  Tobacco, discovery of, 73
  Towa, 10, 25
  Tshirege, 29, 54
  Turkey pens, 40
      feathers, 60, 72, 73
  Tyuonyi, 14, 15, 23, 26, 34, 35, 37, 40, 44, 45, 48, 51, 53, 74,
      as a boundary, 16, 81
      meaning, 25
      trade, 27
      earliest home, 28, 30, 32
      caves, 36
      community apartment houses, 41
      secret chambers, 46, 58
      population, 54
      farmers, 55
      game, 55
      weapons, 55
      abandonment, 64
      reoccupation, 72
      final abandonment, 74

  Vargas, Don Diego de, 68

  War with France, 76
  Water Canyon, 2, 77
  White Rock Canyon, 11
  Woolen cloth, 72

  Yapashi, 13, 29
  Yunqueyunque, Province of, 67

  Zuñi, 6, 9, 13,
      Indians pass through Tyuonyi, 77
  Zuñian, 25






    [Illustration: Ground Plan of Frijoles Canyon. Ruins Area]

    [Illustration: Ground Plan of Frijoles Canyon. Ruins Area (_left_)]

    [Illustration: Ground Plan of Frijoles Canyon. Ruins Area

    [Illustration: Ground Plan of Frijoles Canyon. Ruins Area (_right_)]

    [Illustration: Northern Wall of Frijoles Canyon]

    [Illustration: Northern Wall of Frijoles Canyon (_left_)]

    [Illustration: Northern Wall of Frijoles Canyon (_center_)]

    [Illustration: Northern Wall of Frijoles Canyon (_right_)]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Corrected a few palpable typos.

—Included a transcription of the text within some images.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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