Tonto National Monument Cultural Landscape Assessment

Tonto National Monument Cultural Landscape Assessment
Tonto National Monument
Cultural Landscape
Dr. Richard Stoffle
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology
University of Arizona
Zuni Tribal Council Meeting
January 9, 2009
White Mountain
Pueblo of Zuni
Director of Cultural
Preservation Office
Mark Altaha, THPO
Davis Nieto,
Morgan Saufkie
Lucy Benally,
Preservation Office
Tribal Archivist
Ramon Riley,
Cultural Heritage
Resource Director
Bertram Tsavatawa
National Park
David Ruppert, NPS Intermountain
Regional Office
Octavius Seowtewa
Duane Hubbard,
Chief of Resource
Cornell Tsalate
Matt Guebbard,
Cinda Ewing,
Terry Saunders,
Current Park
Bradley Traver,
• Introduction
• Connections with
Tonto National
• Site by Site analysis
• General
• Conclusion
Tonto National Monument
• Tonto National Monument lies in the southeastern portion of
the Tonto Basin.
• Established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 to preserve
archaeological sites.
• Utilized by Native American peoples for at least 10,000 years
• The basin is the confluence of three major waterways:
– Tonto Creek from the northwest
– The Salt River from the east
– Pinto Creek from the south
Tonto National Monument
• The purpose of this study:
– To bring forth Native American perspectives and
understanding of the land and the resources.
– To help foster relationships between the Monument
and the tribes.
– This increased awareness of contemporary Indian
ties to the park, and to the surrounding region, will
help the park design interpretative programs and
manage resources in a culturally sensitive manner.
Culturally Connected Groups
Ethnographic Study
• Study Participants:
•White Mountain Apache
• Sites Visited:
-The Spring
-Roosevelt Lake Indian Worker Camp
-Low Wall Structure Site (TONT Site 22)
-Camp on the Ridge (Historic
Yavapai/Apache Camp on Honey Butte
-Ridge Structure (TONT Site 65)
-Lower Cliff Structures (TONT Site 51)
-Northern Annex (TONT Site 52)
Sites Studied
The Spring
The Spring
The spring is located south of
the Tonto National Monument’s
Visitor’s Center and the
ramada following the drainage,
between Honey Butte, the
Upper Cliff Structures, the
Lower Cliff Structures and the
Northern Annex.
The path to the Upper Cliff
Structures passes by the
former water tank and the
The spring is clear, runs year
It is now the only permanent
spring left in the area and
provides the water used by
Tonto National Monument.
The Spring
The spring itself hosts a wide variety of animal
inhabitants. Some of the most notable include:
– American black bears (Ursus americanus)
– bobcats (Lynx rufous)
– mountain lions (Felis Concolor)
– common gray foxes (Urocyon
– javelina (Pecari tajacu)
– Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridus
– Bees, butterflies, daddy longlegs
(harvestmen), and toads were also noted at
this site.
Plant species found at the site include:
– Juniper (Juniperus Spp.)
– Arizona Sycamore (Plantanus wrightii S.
– Arizona Walnut (Juglans major Heller)
Juniper and Sycamore were used to make
posts, roofs, and doors, while Walnut was used
to make rope found in the Cliff Structures.
The Spring
Zuni Comments
All the different water sources, wherever
they are, the springs are all areas where
we use the phrase “uwaname”, where
the water people are located. And all our
prayers and songs are directed to those
“uwaname,” the water people. Any water
source, as a spring, would be considered
sacred because of that one phrase that
we identify those areas as. We pray not
only for ourselves but the whole world
because water is never-ending; it
connects all the aquifers. All the different
underground water sources connect with
each other. So when we pray to the
“uwaname,” we pray not only for our
people, but for the continuation of health,
prosperity for everybody.
Zuni Person A
The Spring
Apache Comments
Like they say, water is sacred,
water is life. I think the main thing that
would mainly attract people here would be
that spring.
White Mountain Apache Person A
The Spring
Hopi Comments
You know every, of course every
source of water is special, but even
with the springs we have out home are
literally defined as [Pahokikikne
kisiwa]. As an example is the way
different springs that are already carry
that specialness is a ceremonial
shrine; it’s an offering place. If you
have a water flow, the modern Hopi
behavior is we can make an offering
any place along the river, but then in
cases of springs, you of course narrow
the source to the one place, and I
don’t want to kind of triage this whole
thing by saying that springs are more
important than free flowing water, but
this would, may serve as a ceremonial
water source. But every water carries
a very special sacredness to Hopi.
Hopi Person A
Roosevelt Lake Indian Worker
Worker Camp
• Concentration of artifacts in and around a cleared area with several semicircles of rocks.
• Artifacts Include: cans, buckets, sieves, flaked bottle glass, basket made of
bailing wire, grinding slabs, and cans that had been shaped.
• The artifacts match pictures of dam construction camps and the cans date
back to the early 1900s.
• The site is located about 3.5 miles from the dam and .5 miles from the
spring at Tonto National Monument.
Worker Camp
Geology & Ecology
The site’s location in the floodplain also reflects a
unique geological profile.
– A zone of sedimentary deposits
– Finer sediments than the more mountainous
adjacent area
The valleys of the present drainage system
– Fossiliferous alluvial and lacustrine deposits
of middle or early Pliocene age
– Correlative conglomerate, sand, silt, and
The Site is located within an 8 acre Mesquite
Bosque. Other Characteristic plant species
– Palo Verde (Cercidium spp.)
– Mesquite (Prosopis spp.)
– Cat-claw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
– Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
– Buckhorn Cholla (O. acanthocarpa)
– Teddy Bear Cholla (O. bigelovii)
– Engelmann Prickly Pear (O. p. var. discata)
Worker Camp
Apache Comments
White Mountain Apache Person A: [What would you like people to know about construction of the dam in
Apache history?]: That this was built, I would say built just because it’s close to the dam during the era when
Roosevelt Dam was being built, and that Apache workers were here assisting the U.S. government, with the
building of this dam, which gave them an opportunity to have a job. Just the fact that, by them getting a job,
that meant they were able to provide food, clothing, for their families, and we lived at a time, when, like I’ve
said before, we didn’t know what to do, how to make a living, you know, and versus when we were able to
roam around and just live off the land. But then boundaries were put up, and it was hard. It was hard for these
people then. A lot of things they did without, that they couldn’t have. The men were able to start working, then
start, you know seeing people, getting things they needed in order to survive. A lot of people probably didn’t
even have shoes then, just the moccasins. [To know about the history] It’s a part of it, but like I said too you
know. We need to get a hold of those other three elders that we know, that were here, and I think they would
be able to tell us more. Because I would like to know.
White Mountain Apache Person B: [What do you think of those sites, I mean, do they represent a point in
history, something you want to bring your grand kids, your too young for grand kids, but something that
Apache people would want to bring future generations to, and explain this part of your history?] I think so. I
think the new generations that are growing up now should be exposed to that time and era…how difficult it
was to travel over many miles just for employment, to makes ends meet and just what it took to survive
without electricity, no running water, no transportation. They went through some difficult times in order to
work. So I think it would be a benefit for the new generation now, to learn and know about this era when their
grandparents or great-grandparents had to travel. [Course you can learn that in a school a book. So would
you like to see a place like that preserved and somehow, preserved as a place to teach?] Yeah, I think it
would make a bigger impact if you actually bring students out here and they can see the environment and the
conditions that these Apache people lived during that time period. I’m not sure, we try to work with our youth
now. I think the majority of them, and this number keeps rising, they are not really connected to their
traditional values and culture and I think that is one of the important things I think we need to hold to as Native
Americans and we are losing that fast. And to try and get our elders involved, they are like our last ties to our
traditional culture. We should try to expose our new generations to our traditions and culture as much as we
Worker Camp
Apache Comments
When asked to describe the camp, White Mountain Apache people responded:
White Mountain Apache Person A: [Some of the tin, the cans that we saw from I guess, yeah
we saw the stuff. Would any of them have been used for a water jug, or would they have made
like a pitch basket?] I’m sure they would have used those as a water jug too, besides the pitch
basket, just because it’s available, it’s right there, and it takes time to make a tus. That’s what
they’re called, tus, their water jugs. I’m quite sure they used both of them because in the
pictures we saw, the cans (See Figure 4.9) there and the tus. [That can we saw yesterday, that
had the holes punched in it. What was that one used for?] Tulepai strainer. That’s a type of
drink, the Apaches make, that’s what they used to make that, grind the corn, and like kind of put
it through a colander, if you will, that’s that type, and get all that, the bigger stuff, to toss that
White Mountain Apache Person B: I think its your typical Apache camp. I mean it’s very
difficult to identify an Apache camp if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. I mean you can
walk over an Apache camp and not realize there has been a camp there. It’s one of your typical
Apache camps, not a whole lot of artifacts left behind, a sure sign would be a rock ring used for
a wikiup, a gowah, and maybe some metal artifacts and broken glasses, but since it’s a
temporary camp you wouldn’t find any permanent features there I think. [They were using those
big cans probably for helping to carry water and they probably also continued to make the water
basket?] Yes, I think so but eventually I think those burden baskets that or the water jug or the
tus, was eventually replaced by tin cans or jars when they became available. [And they used
Pitch?] They would use pitch from Piñon trees, to cover it inside and out. [What they were
calling Jingles…do they have an Apache name?] I’m not sure. If they do, I don’t know. [And
they put them on fancy dresses, Buckskin dresses and baskets.] Uh-huh. [Did they have
another use? Did they put them on the bridals of horses or would that spook the horse?] I’m not
sure…mostly for decoration, maybe for certain ceremonies, arts and crafts.
Worker Camp
Zuni Comments
• This site was visited during the orientation meeting and
Zuni people were given the opportunity to comment
about this site. Zuni representatives declined and chose
to focus their time and efforts on other sites.
Hopi Comments
• Due to time constraints, Hopi people did not have the
opportunity to visit this site.
Low Wall Structure
(TONT Site 22)
Low Wall Structure
This site is located 1 mile south of the modern Roosevelt Lake shoreline.
Consists of a three-walled stone foundation with the open end of the
structure facing north.
The Juniper wood, dated post-1350, which was used as construction
material for this site, matches that found in the Lower Cliff Structures.
Vegetation has been removed from the site in an effort to preserve it.
The archaeological material found at this site has been limited.
Low Wall Structure
Geology & Ecology
In addition to the basic geological profile, Gila
Conglomerate represents a notable presence in the
Gila Conglomerate - A highly compacted mixture of
cemented gravel, clay, and silica
Due to the extent to which it has compacted,
fractures in the conglomerate will often break
through pebbles rather than around them.
Due to the nearness to the Roosevelt Lake Indian
Worker Camp the ecology differs only slightly.
– Buckhorn Cholla and the Saguaro, however,
were specifically noted at this site.
Low Wall Structure
Zuni Comments
Zuni people described the area as a farming and food-gathering site, possibly with
permanent living.
Possibility of hand-irrigated waffle gardens.
Park service information about metate artifacts supported the Zunis’ assumption that crops were
processed at this site before transporting them uphill.
– The three walled structure, or field house itself would be used during the growing season, so that the
farmers could watch the crops, protect them against animals, and have a place to stay until harvest.
– The farmers could have also used this place to harvest desert plants when they were in season.
– Zunis used to build seasonally occupied three-wall structures until the 1960s.
– The opening of a three-walled structure would be directed towards the field in order to overlook and
protect the crops from raccoons, ravens, and crows.
Water Use:
– Salt River would have been used for drinking supplies and to gather water for irrigation.
– Nearby drainages would have check dams for water control after rainfall, which served both drinking
and irrigating purposes.
Plant Use:
– Emphasized the present food plants, such as jojoba, saguaro, mesquite, palo verde and cholla.
– Buckhorn Cholla was formerly used in ceremonies by a specific Zuni clan that is no longer in
Low Wall Structure
Zuni Comments
– Traders would have been welcomed in the farming area and possibly at the lower cliff
structure due to the close ties of the different sites.
– Zuni people believed that the same people who farmed the fields in the valley also occupied
the cliff structures.
– The farming people may have provided the cliff people with food or might have used the cliff
structures as defensive hideout in case of a threat.
Zuni people felt connected to all the archaeologically distinguished peoples with a
communal way of life. Structures similar to the Low Wall Structure were built at Zuni up until
the 1960s, which they felt indicated a relationship. They felt the discovery of a nearby shrine
would cement this connection.
– Zuni people expressed a desire to return to this site in order to reconnect to the site and leave
– Emphasized the hope to learn more about the “puzzle” of ancestral history by returning visits
to ancestral lands.
– Zuni people hope that the site remains access-restricted and that archaeological objects be
replaced at the site after they are photographed and recorded.
Low Wall Structure
Apache Comments
Apache people interviewed during this study believed that representatives
from the San Carlos Apache Tribe would be better suited to comment on this
site given San Carlos people’s heavy involvement in the dam construction.
Apache representatives believed that this site and others in close proximity
were likely to have been used during the dam construction period.
Low Wall Structure
Hopi Comments
Hopi representatives believed that this site was used by Hopi people in the
– The site features suggest that this location was a resting and food
processing area for people traveling along the trails through the Tonto
Hopi representatives also thought that this site was similar to another area in
the basin and therefore a shrine must be present within the vicinity.
Hopi representatives added that the Tonto Basin, Wukoskyavi, is an
important part of Hopi clan migrations from the south in that trails from the
southern areas pass through the basin to the Hopi Mesas.
Camp on the Ridge
(Historic Yavapai/Apache Site
in Honey Butte Saddle)
Camp on the Ridge
Located on an uphill slope towards the main peak of Honey Butte.
The sediment is loose and fine.
Metal and stone objects have been found both on the ridge and in a drainage area just
below the site.
Among the artifacts were rubbing stones, a
small metal buckle, and part of a metate.
Horse bones and teeth also were present at
the site.
Sites nearby have been disturbed by a
bulldozed fire line, which was cut up to the
ridge in the 1960s, and artifacts originally from
this site could have been damaged in the
Camp on the Ridge
Geology & Ecology
The greater Tonto Basin fits into a series of large
intermontane basins filled with debris eroded from
the surrounding mountain ranges.
This terrestrial debris is interbedded with
sedimentary layers deposited as the area’s once
present sea repeatedly washed over the land.
– This presence of water and its evaporation
altered the appearance of local rocks with
ripple marks and mud cracks and transformed
the landscape on a macro level through cycles
of deposition, uplift, and erosion.
The Salt River had a major role in the most recent
uplift, carving out valleys and canyons and
depositing the debris in the remaining lowlands.
– The material traveled in accordance with its
size, as the river deposited courser materials
near the mountains and finer sediments into
the center of the basin.
– More specifically to Honey Butte, the forces of
erosion take the form of landslides and
Characteristic plant species include:
– Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens Engelm.)
– Brittlebush (Encelia spp.)
– Globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.)
– Desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
– Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
– Sonoran scrub oak (Quercus turbinella)
– Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
– Firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)
– Strawberry hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus
– Desert hibiscus (Hibiscus coulteri)
Camp on the Ridge
Zuni Comments
During the site visit, Zuni people expressed that the Camp on the Ridge site would have
been used during pilgrimages, however, these pilgrimages would have left no
visible trace.
Food brought on a Zuni pilgrimage would not have been brought in a can.
– Rather it would have been dried or cured.
– In addition to consumption, parched corn, piki, or dried elk or deer meat also would have
been left as offerings.
Thus, while this site has a connection to the Zuni people, the artifacts found at the site –
the tin cans, metal objects, and horse remains – originated with another group.
Zuni people felt the cans might have been from worker’s rations from the dam
In addition to cans, Zuni people also felt that bringing horses on a pilgrimage would also
be inappropriate.
Overall, Zuni people felt that they might have come to this site as part of a pilgrimage, but
that they would have left no trace as per the Zuni way.
Camp on the Ridge
Apache Comments
I’m not sure if it was an Apache camp; if it is, it was probably a temporary
camp. And then if it was Apache, it would probably be in the late 1800s
when they were followed by cavalry and it probably wouldn’t hold any
good feelings to bring Apaches back here, or to just remind them of a time
and era where they were been chased by cavalry just to be confined to a
– White Mountain Apache Person B
Camp on the Ridge
Apache Comments
White Mountain Apache Person A: There’s songs sung about water, we’ve got the spring right down
here below the dwellings. Like they say, water is sacred, water is life. I think the main, what would
mainly attract people here would be that spring. All through time you know, even the cliff dwellers you
know, and you’ve got people knowing the Apaches, knowing the spring was there, probably other
bands of other tribes. So to me this place right here I’m sure was used by a lot of people, especially
with that spring - I’m sure it was a lot bigger then too, running water. But then we also, you never
know too because there’s just so many clans, and a lot of times they lived in the draws where springs
are where there like, you know, not, they’re hidden. Soon as they get up, and they always taught a girl
to get up with the sun, when the sun comes up. Always say your prayers. And I’m sure they were tied
to the spring. Knew every part of this land. My mother used to say, like the springs, the Apaches
would hide food for each other, and whoever you know, they were running from, or, they’re traveling
even gathering food, they would know that there’s a next place, ok there’s going to be food there.
White Mountain Apache Person B: [Would the water in the canyon have attracted them?] I think so.
They did a lot of traveling; they had a nomadic type of lifestyle, following the seasonal food. I’m pretty
sure they were familiar with the spring sources when they were in the areas. They would mostly camp
at ridges, for defense purposes, adjacent to a spring, or water source, but they wouldn’t necessarily
camp at the same place.
Camp on the Ridge
Apache Comments
• White Mountain Apache Person A: [When
Apache people would come into the area, would
they have come up to these, this place on the
ridge, to gather plants and to use…] I’m sure they
would’ve. At different times of the year they’ll
march off and take their donkeys and their baskets
and walk wherever and go gather the food plants,
enough to get through the winter. There’s a lot of
plants that I do not know, traditional plants, good
medicine, and also some things they used for
ceremonial purposes.
• White Mountain Apache Person B: The beans,
the agave plants. I couldn’t really say; there’s
various bands of Apaches ranging from New
Mexico, Southern Arizona, into Mexico; I couldn’t
really say which band would use which type of
Camp on the Ridge
Apache Comments
White Mountain Apache Person A:
[What about, um, would they have
used any animals at the site, or
would the animals be important at all,
that were here?] I’m sure that they
are important, but to me, I just think
the deer. The deer is very important
to us. We were never taught to kill
bears, and deer is used in
ceremonial purposes, the eagle, the
owl, turkeys, those are the ones I
know we normally use like for
ceremonies, this place was used too.
This is important too.
White Mountain Apache Person B:
Yes, I think so. They would have
hunted where they could.
Camp on the Ridge
Apache Comments
Evidence of Previous Indian Use
White Mountain Apache Person A: Well,
for me, as far as finding old cans and tins
and stuff like that. It just seemed like as if,
that would be a place where the people
climbed up here and dropped things up
here, because it just wouldn’t make sense
to, have a dwelling so far away from your
water source, and the people that were here
were pretty much associated, at the time,
when the dam was being built, and then
according to White Mountain Apache Person
C, who was our cultural specialist there are
several Apache site camps right near the, he
said on the north side of the dam.
[What about the metal objects that they talked about were being found in there, what
kinds of things were…?] Those were things, you know, things like they used, from the historic
period, they had like the cans right? The probably, somebody probably, I don’t know just left it
up here, maybe they had someone sit up here to look out for them, but you know that would be
in the early 1900’s like as we were saying, the camp workers were here, at these old apache
Camp on the Ridge
Hopi Comments
Due to time constraints, the Hopi people did
not get the opportunity to visit this site.
Ridge Structure
(TONT Site 65)
Ridge Structure
The Structure Site on the Ridge is an unexcavated site north of the Camp on the
Ridge Site on the same ridge, with a viewscape that includes:
– The Upper and Lower Cliff structures
– The Northern Annex
– Cholla Canyon
– The primary peak of Honey Butte
– Schoolhouse Wash
– Present-day Roosevelt Lake
Notably, sounds from the lower
cliff structures are clearly audible
on the ridge, while sounds from
the ridge are not audible from
other locations in the Monument.
Ridge Structure
Ridge Structure
Geology & Ecology
There is an abundance of smooth, rounded
stones, found both individually and as part of
local Gila Conglomerate deposits.
– Desert varnish on some of the rocks and
crystal formations on a nearby rocky peak.
– The small peak to the north also contains
lichen and moss.
The following species were observed at the
– Chia (Salvia columbariae Benth)
– Fiddleneck grass (Amsinckia spp.)
– Globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.)
– Desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
– Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
– Desert Tobacco (Nicotiana trigonophylla),
which was not found at any of the other
sites visited.
Ridge Structure
Zuni Comments
The way the structures are built or situated identifies the
Zuni people to here, because of the community lifestyle.
Everyone was within one centralized area instead of
being scattered within this valley. The reason for that is to
help with the crops, help with the ceremonies, even
helping raising our young ones to teach them respect, not
only for the people, but for the earth, for the things
surrounding them, to have that respect for the way of life,
for the Zunis, that we always had. The community
lifestyle for our people has always been there, and the
way these sites are situated, they have the same concept
of community life. This is our history our people left, the
sites, the petroglyphs, the cliff dwellings, as a reminder to
the people that they were here, that at some time they
were here within the valley doing the same things,
practicing the same things that we do back home. It’s like
a book, this is our recording of our past, and hopefully the
present and the future would be gained by this concept of
the way of life that our ancestors had. And just with that
information we can relate to the people back home that
we still have the same history, same lifestyle.
Zuni Person A
Ridge Structure
Zuni Comments
Water was important at this site:
Zuni Person A:
All the different water sources, wherever they are, the springs are all areas where we use the
phrase “uwaname”, where the water people are located. And all our prayers and songs are
directed to those “uwaname,” the water people. Any water source, as a spring, would be
considered sacred because of that one phrase that we identify those areas as. We pray not
only for ourselves but the whole world because water is never-ending; it connects all the
aquifers. All the different underground water sources connect with each other. So when we
pray to the “uwaname,” we pray not only for our people, but for the continuation of health,
prosperity for everybody.
Zuni Person C: Yes, since the stream is on the other side of where the site is, they might
have hauled it with pottery, or a long time ago they would use, the lining of a big horn sheep
stomach. They would drain, and clean it out, wash it real good, and they would have more like
your portable water bag right there, that they could wet it, and get it all flexible, and put water
in it.
Zuni Person B: Pretty much to do our religious ceremonies. I mean water is vital to
everything, everyday life, so the spring there is like an ideal spot. Not just for ceremonies, but
for everyday use.
Ridge Structure
Apache Comments
No doubt that to me they probably did look out. You know, I’m sure they prayed
up here as well, came up here and say their prayers, the traditional Apaches
always pray in the mornings. Soon as they get up, and they always taught a girl
to get up with the sun, when the sun comes up. Always say your prayers. And
I’m sure they were tied to the spring.
White Mountain Apache Person A
Ridge Structure
Hopi Comments
Hopi Person A: I mentioned up there that also, maybe even the very distinct satellites of these villages
around here. They were all satellites of each other, but maybe you would have this village sort of
subservient to these other two villages, kind of a reflection of the Hopi villages in days past function,
where you had groups coming in and being assigned certain areas to build their homes, until such time
they were allowed to be part of their, you know, growing community, so, that’s what I mean when I say
could have very well been a temporary satellite village and maybe even in certain ways, maybe even
subservient to the ruling clans here. I don’t know, it’s just a reflection on how our modern Hopi villages
came to be a thousand years ago, in Oraibi and Shongopovi.
[So if visitors wanted to come in and be with these people they would be asked to live up there for a while
until they could be more correctly integrated into the people.]
Yeah, but for example over at Oraibi, some of the more common clans, particularly, like say in Oraibi
tradition, you have the Coyote clans, two groups of Coyote clan people coming in rather late and they
volunteered to defend the village. So the village chief assigned their homes around the periphery of Oraibi
and that was a very, a very simple and direct way, and so the coyote clan served in that capacity of kind of
like with this village up here, like to scout. They would serve to warn. They would also be there first to
greet people, so those were some of the more practical responsibilities that they accepted and later they
served in some of these, I don’t like the term warrior societies, but it doesn’t fit into the Hopi philosophy,
but they were the first to defend villages. They were these societies [gcacletang], we call them [paletaka]
or [gcacletang], those societies. The popular way is to call them warrior societies but war is something we
don’t promote. But anyway these were societies created for that. We’re going to give credit to Hopi Person
C with this one, it might serve as a criers point, a village crier or those purposes, of people approaching or
for ceremonial functions too. I think that’s what you mean though, Hopi Person C. And that would be, like
in Hopi it would be called…
Ridge Structure
Hopi Comments
Hopi Person B (as translated by Hopi Person A): I think what Hopi Person B is advising is that it would
be the [ovi] is a high point. [o] is up, and [vi] makes it a place. tsa’akq is crier, or announcing, tsa’aqw ovi.
It’s spelled, t,s,a,k…t,s,a, then a little apostrophe, a, k…q, I believe…<discussion> Ok, t,s,a, and then
apostrophe, then a,q,w, then o,v,i. It would be another place, I mean it would be another term, it would be
the high place of the, the criers high point place.[Would these criers announce ceremony, or would they
actually conduct ceremony sometimes?]They would be announcers, and they would announce not the
ceremonies, but events, like communal planting. They would announce, like we do baby naming
ceremonies. They would announce harvest. Oh they have all kinds of purposes, greeting…
[Now, given that that is a place where the announcement, would these places up here because of their
kind of bandshell thing. Would these ceremonies happen here, certain times, and these would be heard
down in the valley? Does that make any sense, that they have related but separate functions?]
Hopi Person A: Of course if it didn’t have a crier, and the crier was asked for a different you know
announcements, and if that in fact was used in that manner, it would be for people to hear, like I was
saying, it could even be for warning. And you know, in our ceremonial runs…<Hopi>…shouting, like I was
saying and you guys were mentioning that that point seems to be kind of a unique area because you can
here up on top there too. So it could be for both warning; it could be for greeting and you would have in
certain cases too, I was explaining to them about the farming valleys of our villages you had these shelters
up on the cliffs there and they would be used in case the enemy arrive and in particular men farmers would
escape up there, but if an enemy was spotted they would use shouts to warn themselves of the enemy and
also the distance from each point, so farmers knew what to do. So they would shout across and the use of
echoes would be important.
Lower Cliff Structures
(TONT Site 51)
L. Cliff Structures
The Lower Cliff Structures are a group of rooms made of adobe clay mortar and plaster and
– Evidence of previous fires darkens some of the caves interior.
– Juniper, Sycamore, Saguaro ribs, and Yucca were also used in the construction .
An intermittent wash leads up to the northeast of the structure, while a larger wash leads up
to the southeast.
Water has also formed small natural caves within the Lower Cliff Structures.
L. Cliff Structures
Geology & Ecology
The Lower Cliff Structures were built in a large cave •
that formed by natural weathering processes, which
began between 50,000 and 400,000 years ago.
– The cave is composed of siltstone and
sandstone, which is highly susceptible to
gradual flaking, also known as spalling.
Three natural pigments were found at this site:
– Red ochre (hematite)
– Yellow ochre (limonite)
– White (highly pure clay deposits)
Species noted at this site include:
– Hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus spp.)
– Barrel cactus (Ferocactus spp.)
– Goldenflower century plant (Agave chrysanta
– Banana yucca (Yucca baccata Tor.)
– Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens Engelm.)
– Pincushion cactus (Mammillaria grahamii
– Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
– Wolfberry (Lucium exsertum)
L. Cliff Structures
Zuni Comments
Zuni Person A: People up here were probably the same people that were down there [valley], but during
times of war or when they were being threatened or attacked they had to have an area to go to in order to
be protected from whoever was trying to do harm to the people. This area is very hard to get access to, so
just for defense purposes this is probably where they came up. [And in times when there was peace and no
threat, would this be used for some other purpose?] Well, it would probably be used for storage areas,
granaries. … Probably during the hot summer months, to be in here, to have shade. We went into one of
those rooms and it was a lot cooler in there than it was out here. … Just with the architecture and the way
the homes are built, it signifies, or suggests that this was a family oriented area where groups of people,
families, would all come to for sanctuary or for living.
Zuni Person B: Just for everyday living, so all this would be connected with the stuff that’s below and
especially the site across [ridge site]. Then again, the area was chosen because of the location of the spring
and all that. … We’ll probably have a better idea if we go visit that main area on the other side and see what
we find on that side, but these kinds of places, homes were used both for living and for religious ceremonies.
I mean one of the rooms could have been like especially for religious use and the other quarters could have
been just regular living quarters.
Zuni Person C: They might have been around here, winter, the shelter, the rock, the mountain itself. … [So
for the structures, they would’ve stayed in that guy over there (cliff structures site), and they would have
come here (Northern Annex) for…] Yes…Looks they were both built at the same time frame, according to
the one on the other side, it’s almost similar too the one on this side.
L. Cliff Structures
Apache Comments
• White Mountain Apache people decided not to formally interview at
the Lower Cliff Structures, recognizing that the Lower Cliff
Structures were not Apache sites. Instead, they opted to spend time
at the Roosevelt Lake Indian Worker Camp.
• White Mountain Apache Person A stated: I think people with the
Hopi, Zuni tribes are more familiar because they are, that’s their
ancestors, where us, we as Apache people when we come to sites
such as this, you know we’re basically taught just to leave things
L. Cliff Structures
Hopi Comments
Hopi Person B (as translated by Hopi Person A): In this, Hopi Person B said that this was not
merely, I guess, for shelter, but also an anticipated place of refuge, just in case.
Hopi Person A: So the founders of this area and this site, I think also considered many, many
things, and so but it was home to them. I can just smell the rabbit stew boiling in there now, the
squirrel stew, the rodent stew.
L. Cliff Structures
Hopi Comments
Hopi Person A: … I think even though you had the river going through here, probably seasonally you had,
again problems with things like mosquitoes. So I think, I was saying, I wouldn’t want to live right by the river.
This was the problem they had a long time ago. And I would go further away, just so I wouldn’t be bothered
with it. So I think part of it is just practical reasons. These were cooler, you know, like right now it’s cool, cool,
and you have shade. Whereas if you lived down there, you probably were dealing with those kinds of
problems, and right in the sunlight. So I think it was for these other kinds of practical reasons that, just
served to… you also had the villages to use some of these little niches. And I’m curious as to whether or not
they were walled in. I don’t know if they were or not, but I think there was more people to take care of the
food storage, maintenance. Hopis have a word for emergency storage, storing of food, which is koyota.
“Koyota” means to literally, to hoard, or to stock up so people and Hopis were always taught to be prepared,
so we’re still sort of these, have these customary practices of preparing and storing food and I was
mentioning to them. You know me and my mom are going to have an abundance of peaches this year. And
boy, man, me and my mom are always busy sun drying the peaches and storing them, just for food. Just to
have to eat throughout the year. So we’re going to have a lot of peaches this year. It looks like it’s going to
be a lot of work, processing and you know so we can use it. And I see that as another advantage. They
were, I’m sure, pretty astute with growing control. I’m sure that they had the granaries, the food was… The
niches in, particularly in the interior, it was for sure a lot cooler. During the winter, they might have gone
down to the lower elevation, it’s a little warmer down there, and they had the maintenance of food in the
granaries up here. And they kept checking back and forth. So this might have also been a little seasonal too,
Northern Annex
(TONT Site 52)
N. Annex
Located within an overhang slightly northeast of the Lower Cliff Structures.
Contains a series of small walls constructed with adobe clay mortar and plaster and
The spring, Honey Butte, the Roosevelt Lake Indian Worker Camp Site, and the Low
Wall Structures Site are all visible from the Northern Annex.
Features a series of cupules on a flat surface in a small enclave at the northern end.
N. Annex
Geology & Ecology
The site is composed of several different strata which
make the Precambrian section of the Apache Group.
– Pioneer shale
– Dripping Spring quartzite
– Mescal limestone
– Basalt
Like the Lower Cliff Structures, there are three
natural pigments present at this site:
Red ochre (hematite)
Yellow ochre (limonite)
White (highly pure clay deposits)
This site shares the same ecology as the
Lower Cliff Structures.
N. Annex
Zuni Comments
They might have been around here, winter, the
shelter, the rock, the mountain itself. … There
[cupules] is a little map, indented with markings
on there, like there’s a person that was studying
the stars and made a map. Constellations on
the table, only made the map.
[Would they have brought people up here to
teach them how to do that, or was this a person
who would come up here on his own?]
It’s a person, obviously knew what he was
doing, maybe a time keeper. He knew when the
solstice would start.
[So for the structures, they would’ve stayed in
that guy over there, and they would have come
here for…]
Yes…Looks they were both built at the same
time frame, according to the one on the other
side, it’s almost similar too the one on this side.
-Zuni Person C
N. Annex
Apache Comments
• White Mountain Apache people decided not to formally interview at
the the Northern Annex, recognizing that the the Northern Annex were
not Apache sites. Instead, they opted to spend time at the Roosevelt
Lake Indian Worker Camp.
• White Mountain Apache Person A stated: I think people with the
Hopi, Zuni tribes are more familiar because they are, that’s their
ancestors, where us, we as Apache people when we come to sites such
as this, you know we’re basically taught just to leave things alone.
N. Annex
Hopi Comments
[You raised two or theories about those places. Some were more domestic perhaps, activities like drilling
holes in shells, but others were the possibility of an event, maybe a curing event or a healing event, that
would be similar to the kinds of activities that might be in a kiva today. You raised, Hopi Person D raised the
issue that maybe the light was falling on those at different times of the year, and they were somehow used as
a way to tell the seasons or the time, so that the people could anticipate planting and things like that. You
know, the Hopi people spend a lot of time tracking the sun and where it’s going. You’ve mentioned that a
couple of times. If that area over there was used for those activities, would it be considered a separate area
from this one? Would there be activities there that would be different than activities here because of those?]
Hopi Person A: Well I would think there would probably be restrictions. They would probably have only
certain people be the caretakers. Especially if it was used for healing, it would carry a special segregation,
respected and perhaps kept in isolation from the locals and others. <Hopi>
Hopi Person D: I guess they would go back to like maybe isolation, specific certain members only, maybe
utilize that as part of ceremony as well, because it’s still also within the culture we’re leading out there. The
Hopi villages, there are other remote areas, similar functions happen. So even if their not having it placed
here it’s over there, but it still is connected with the main site.
Hopi Person B (as translated by Hopi Person A): Hopi Person B again explained where the leadership, they
feel a responsibility, both men and women, and part of that was thoughtful prayer. To deliberate like Hopi
Person C was saying, anticipation of where they might be going next. In fact, when it was time to move then,
…<Hopi>… scouts would be sent out, and those would be specially chosen, so that would fit into to maybe
some of those concepts of leadership or privacy was important because you would have to have absolute
concentration of thought and prayer as you deliberated and prayed. The good will happen for us, for those
people a long time ago.
N. Annex
Hopi Comments
Hopi Person A: So these thoughtful prayers, deliberations, and decisions required that kind of privacy, and
so as I suggested that if it was used medicinally those would be, those cupules would be used for medicinal,
herbal, concoctions for people to partake. It would be one way of looking at that too.
[At Fajada Butte, the butte and those very isolated rooms were seen as needed, not only for the kind of work
and prayer for the people talking about the sun and the moons movements, but the novices at that place
needed quiet too. So if this is a set aside area, could it also be attractive because the novices aren’t supposed
to be, while their learning. They’re supposed to be concentrating on their studies and their prayers, but how
everyone would everyone would describe that activity. Does that make sense?]
Hopi Person D: That would make sense, yeah. To being away from the main site.
Hopi Person A: When, that occurs too at home, but you know the Taos has that Blue Lake and you know
you listen to them and when they’re ready for the men, manhood initiations, they really take it to that level,
where they take them up to Blue Lake and leave the trainees up there, teach them the ways of survival. And I
don’t know how long they do it now, but when those young men come down they are not novices any more.
They’ve endured and survived, and it’s also impressive to listen to them, the Taos people. It was a test of
manhood, according to the Taos. So those things are done different ways, but the scouts I think had to learn
the ways of desert survival. So they were taught the ways to survive and gain endurance, physical endurance,
days without water and they would have to condition their bodies to do so. And once they were ready, then I’m
sure those scouts were told to go, and that took another type of training. You know physical training and
General Recommendations
Site control and monitoring
Zuni Person B: We tend to let nature take its course, so we try not to fix it up or do much disturbance.
Limit visitation and then just look out for looters. Pretty much not try to do anything unless there’s
something major going on, digging them out and all that, and I know there’s testing and data recovery
and those processes, but we don’t want any kind of excavations done.
Zuni Person C: I think that both having Indian and non-Indian people monitoring the sites would be a
good suggestion, since they will be looking over and try giving each other information, what’s being done,
what’s going on.
Native American Access
Zuni Person A: If we bring our kids and our grandkids up here, it will not only educate them, but
whoever is around. If they listen to our explanation to our kids, then the people who are up here will
benefit from that little presentation, that little talk… That could probably encourage people to come and
listen to our perspective, our explanation of what was happening here or what happened here, or the
reason why the people had to come up here.
Zuni Person B: The past archaeologists had a phrase of “being abandoned” and it’s never mentioned
that these areas were abandoned or left to look for the Middle Place. These areas were used for the
migration for pilgrimage, and because of land restrictions and private ownership we were denied the
opportunity to reconnect to these areas. So with these consultation trips we are getting the opportunity
back. For us just to be here, connecting, seeing the shrines, and connecting to our people that were
here, will hopefully bring the blessings that we pray for, just because of that connection back.
General Recommendations
New Visitor Center Information
Zuni Person A: With more information coming from the Native people, they [visitors] would have a better
understanding of what happened here, because it’s not site one, site two, and site three, it’s an area
where people raised their children, practiced their culture, had the same lifestyle that we still have. So,
with that information – even though Zuni is quite a distance from here – it’s just a fact that these people
had the same lifestyle and we want to share this with the people coming in. This is our history, it’s like
opening a book to other people and telling them, that this is what and who they are, these are the people
that were here and they’re still within the vicinity. They didn’t fall off the face of the earth.
Zuni Person B: Since this [Cliff Structures] is the main area they [visitors] visit, and I can probably get
together with other members that weren’t able to come along on this trip, but we can pretty much get
them together and tell them what we saw and they can come up with some kind of wording that they can
share with the other visitors.
Zuni Person A suggested substituting the sign on abandonment with the phrasing: These people that
were here are still within the vicinity, and these are the Hopi, the Zuni, and all the Pueblo tribes within the
Rio Grande. We did not disappear; we’re still maintaining our existence and our culture and our way of
General Recommendations
Site control and monitoring
White Mountain Apache Person A: [Would you like to see Indian, possibly Indian monitors coming out
with the Park Service to monitor?] I would. I like to se us build some type of partnership, especially with
here because they’re closer to us, as I mentioned before with preservation and the ruins I would like to
learn that because that’s part of my job and it’s something that no one can teach me, only if I go right to
the source where they’re doing things like that… You know, we have a saying in our language, I mean
it’s, just respect the place. Respect it. Just respect the place.
Native American Access
White Mountain Apache Person B: Yeah, I think it would make a bigger impact if you actually bring
students out here and they can see the environment and the conditions that these Apache people lived
during that time period. I’m not sure, we try to work with our youth now. I think the majority of them, and
this number keeps rising, they are not really connected to their traditional values and culture and I think
that is one of the important things I think we need to hold to as Native Americans and we are losing that
fast. And to try and get our elders involved, they are like our last ties to our traditional culture. We should
try to expose our new generations to our traditions and culture as much as we can… I guess, this
permission to collect or gather food plants as they would come into season at a certain time of the year.
That would be one of the only requirements. I think it would be a benefit to teach their new generation
about how they survived before the 1800s, what different types of food sources they used, where else
they traveled. In a way it’s part of their tradition, or culture.
General Recommendations
Additional Interviews
White Mountain Apache Person A: I do have this one recommendation and I would just hope that I
could get a hold of the two Cibecue men who are in their, probably 80’s or 90’s who worked here, who
could give us more insight to the conditions then, and also Eva Watts as well. That would be from our
perspective, and I know there’s other people that were here that probably have passed on. Like they say,
our elders are our most precious treasure right now, of any culture. They are the most precious because
they have all the knowledge and they know and they lived at this particular period of time…You know, us
I know, White Mountain Apache Person B and I, we definitely want you guys to also do a, like this what
we’re doing, with White Mountain Apache Person C too. But, he really, he really knows a lot more of the
oral histories up here, and I’m sure he would have the knowledge and wisdom on behalf of us, to tell us,
“This would be good, if we said this or that” so out of respect to him and to my elders, that I would have
to go ask them first before I, you know what I mean, just to get, I want that point of view. My job is to work
for the tribe and you know, do things such as this for them, but at the same time be able to take a report
back and say, “well we want to know what you guys want to be, what you want on, you know, black and
white,”… our side of the story.
White Mountain Apache Person C: I just wanted to know if you had input from San Carlos people, as
they camped in that are also. An elder named Eva Watt told me some of her relatives from San Carlos
lived in that area when they were working on Roosevelt dam and her parents worked that area on
Apache Trail… Before the new road to Miami was rerouted, we did surveys of that area with San Carlos
elders and we found ceremony objects that belong to San Carlos spiritual people.
General Recommendations
Building a Working Relationship with Monument Staff
Hopi Person A: It’s a special visit so I’m going to thank everybody again for your hosting and everything
else, the staff, all of them. We’d like to work with you more than I have in the past.
Return Visits to the Park
Hopi Person A: The spring would probably have a name. It would have to have a name, for the village,
as do all Hopi villages today. As a matter of fact I think we’re going to think about what we do, come back
and do more work culturally here. We may come back and actually, like we did for the other one, actually
find a name for the spring or for the villages. Collaboration with NPS and Other Federal Agencies to
Expand Project Footprint
Hopi Person A: We have clan traditions, and respective clan cultures, and even in some cases clan
religions. These guys carry the great winter ceremony, the solstice ceremony, the Bear Clan, and that’s
something that other Hopis later learned, but that was their way, and these guys up here, the water and
the corn clan also carried different ceremonies, my clan carried different ceremonies. And that’s how it is
in our tradition, and we come from different places. That’s why Hopi Person C was asking about another
venue we’d like to explore here, and why I wanted to go beyond these political boundaries is part of our
research, is petroglyphs. And one of the basic things we look for is that, if in fact the Hopi clans were
here, we would have our spiral, that’s our migration symbol [Wotaveni], and we would want to look for
different other symbols out there.
Constructing Shrines
Hopi representatives have asked the monument staff for permission to construct a shrine near the spring
and to be allowed to make return visits to it for prayer and monitoring.
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