Sep 042014

Bear Panel

The Bear panel at Shavano Valley Petroglyph site near Montrose, Colorado, is an intriguing example of Ute symbolism.  The panel incorporates glyphs from recent times overlaid on very ancient ones.  Look closely and you can see a faint line coming out of the crevice in the rock face (bottom right).  The line goes up and then branches.  Part way up on the line is a woman or man carrying a back pack and a planting stick.  The line and the figure were pecked into the patina of the rock face.  It is a classic case of using rock incorporation of cracks and crevices in the story being depicted.  Here the person has emerged from the underworld, represented by the crevice, and is travelling along the trail provided by Sinauf, the creator, with a basket of seeds and a planting stick.  Also, part of this era are more branching trails and animal tracks.  This story is the oldest depicted on the panel.

Nov 072013

My wife and I live in the beautiful Wet Mountain Valley of southern Colorado.  This valley was originally the home of the Ute Indians.  Before the Spanish came, the Ute were divided into seven bands.  Our little valley was in between the territories of the Mouache and Capote bands, but was probably occupied by the Mouche who ranged along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, from Denver south to near Las Vegas New Mexico.  The Capote band inhabited the San Luis Valley, which is on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo’s from us, near the headwaters of the Rio Grande south to New Mexico around the current towns of Chama and Tierra Amarilla.

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