Mystery of the Dancing Gods
“He took a face from the ancient gallery, and he walked on down the hall…“
-Jim Morrison, Shaman and American Poet
Dateline: Feb. 8th 2018. Central New Mexico. Unusually warm day temperature 65, no precipitation for over 100 days.
Well my fellow seekers, today we are on the search for ancient images of Pueblo Indian Supernaturals or Kachinas. The adventure started with a beautiful Red Tail Hawk making lazy circles over the canyon. A good omen.
Now picture if you will, we are spinning back in time……
The village was started sometime in the 14th century. It was made out of stone and mud and was nestled along a stream that issued out of the low mountains that run down the center of the state. The village faced East to the rising sun and the vast American Plains. Its founders were Eastern Tiwa speakers, a group of Pueblo Indians that had expanded up the east side of the central mountains above the dry Estancia valley. The stream was the life-blood of the village and along its winding course were overhangs placed high in the canyon walls. The over-hangs were the galleries for the spiritual life-blood of the village. Images of kachinas, ancestors and supernatural beings were drawn on the overhang walls and ceilings, perhaps to mark where they dwelt when not visiting the village.
The village thrived for many years, growing corn, beans, and squash. The men hunted the bear, and cougar of the mountains. For meat, they hunted deer, elk, mountain sheep, turkey and rabbits. Oﬀ to the east on the vast Plains they hunted antelope and the great buffalo. Things were good, but in the year 1581, Strangers came. They had huge dog-like creatures and they sat on their backs, covering great distances with ease. They wore shiny stone like armor (similar to the legendary twin war gods’ flint armor) that protected them from arrows and they carried thunder sticks that could kill at great distances. Who were these strangers? Enemy gods, powerful demons? The answer became apparent rather quickly. Not gods, they were but men of incredible greed and violence. Looking for gold that was not there, looking for another kingdom to conquer and subjugate like the Aztecs or Incas. Eldorado, where was it?
Throughout the 17th century the Strangers, the Spanish, tried to convert the Pueblo to Catholicism and subjugated them with a form of feudalism. The oppressive demands of the Spanish overlords and the Catholic missions became too much for the Pueblo and in the year 1672 they left. Nobody knows where they went, they just walked oﬀ out of history. Do their ghosts ever return? Do they visit the caves that hold the images of their gods and ancestors?
I think that maybe they do. While looking at an image of a kachina mask I felt a cold breeze even though the day was warm. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a fleeting glimpse of something, more an impression than a comprehension, just a little swirl of color and I heard the faint sound of rattles oﬀ in the distance.
Well, fellow seekers, that is the end of this tale. Seek-Out!
©Tales of the Lonesome Prospector, A Lizard King Production, A Subsidiary of Coprolite Inc All Rights Reserved
Thank you to Curt and Polly.