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Canyon De Chelly - A Blend Of Cultures
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© Christine Till
Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, the cultural resources of Canyon de Chelly - including distinctive architecture, artifacts, and rock imagery - exhibit remarkable preservational integrity that provides outstanding opportunities for study and contemplation. The National Park Service and the Navajo Nation are actively working together to manage park resources.
Numerous side canyons lead from the main ones. Lining these canyons are several hundred pre-Columbian cliff dwellings, built at the base of red sandstone cliffs or in caves on the steep canyon walls. They cover a longer period than any other ruins in the Southwest, dating between 350 and 1300 ce. Relics of the Basket Maker culture have been found under those of the later Cliff Dweller and Pueblo cultures. Their homes and petroglyphs tell us their stories. The Navajo people settled in Canyon de Chelly long after the Anasazi (ancient ones) had vanished.
Chelly (pronounced day Shay) is a Spanish modification of the Navajo word Tséyiʼ, meaning "canyon" (literally "inside the rock" ). Many American Indians still enjoy life in the Southwest, and some Navajo still call Canyon de Chelly in the northeast corner of Arizona 3 miles from Chinle, AZ home. Their modern homes and farms occupy the canyon bottoms.
September 15th, 2013
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