|Pueblo Bonito — Chaco Canyon
from the rim
When the current Southwestern cultures reach back in their lore to their origins and refer to the “White House”– “places of wonder and tragedy”, they are probably referring to the great pueblo houses at Chaco Canyon. Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the “Great Houses” was five-stories high, covered over two acres, contained over 650 rooms, 45 small kivas and two “Great Kivas”. Kivas were large, round pits or chambers used for religious and ceremonial events.
Stephen Lekson, who has studied the Anasazi phenomenon for over twenty years, described Chaco Canyon this way in a recent article for National Geographic, “Imagine that you’re a teenage kid in the 11th century, coming from the boondocks to Chaco for the first time. You’ve walked four days from the north across that desolate plain to get here and you look over the edge . . . what would you think? It would scare the hell out of you … They planned it that way—as theater.”