They were walking people, these ancient ones who lived on the Colorado Plateau in the early centuries.
I saw several of their sandals in two fine museums, Anasazi and Edge of Cedars. I marveled at the delicate and woven patterns raised slightly along both soles. I thought, “They are leaving a message through the zigzags and square-edged spirals in the sand and dust. Wherever their feet went, they said where they were going, or why they were going.”
A National Park ranger at Mesa Verde told us she saw a turkey feather blanket at Edge of Cedars. “I could picture a woman with such cape over her shoulders as she was on her way to a kiva to a ceremony,” she said. “They raised turkeys for feathers and food.” When I saw this blanket, I could, too. The weaving of such a lovely and practical garment took someone very accomplished.
Even more astounding was reportedly the only one of its kind in the world — a sash woven of feathers of tropical red parrots. Who today can weave such lasting wonders? The feathers remain intact. They are almost as bright and vivid today as they were centuries ago. How did they get and raise parrots? Did their wide roadways of stone and mud curbs, still visible through the mesa and hand-holes over mountains, connect their sites with the people of pyramids in Mexico?
More in my next blog about ceremonial kivas and the amazing reconstructed beautiful one at Aztec, New Mexico, a special site with peace and tranquility, unlike so many others with stranger tales to tell.