cliff dwellers

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cliff dwellers,

Ancestral Pueblo people, sometimes called Anasazi, who were builders of the ancient cliff dwellings found in the canyons and on the mesas of the U.S. Southwest, principally on the tributaries of the Rio Grande and the Colorado River in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. It was once thought that these ruins were the work of an extinct aboriginal people, but it has been established that they were built (11th–14th cent.) by the ancestors of the present PuebloPueblo,
name given by the Spanish to the sedentary Native Americans who lived in stone or adobe communal houses in what is now the SW United States. The term pueblo is also used for the villages occupied by the Pueblo.
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. The dwellings were large communal habitations built on ledges in the canyon walls and on the flat tops of the mesas. Access to the cliffs was very difficult and thus highly defensible against nomadic predatory tribes such as the Navajo. The cliff dwellers were sedentary agriculturists who planted crops in the river valleys below their high-perched houses. They were experts at irrigating the fields. Their lives were organized on a communal pattern, and the many kivas (see kivakiva
, large, underground ceremonial chamber, peculiar to the ancient and modern Pueblo. The modern kiva probably evolved from the slab houses (i.e., storage pits and dwellings that were partly underground and lined with stone slabs set on edge) of their cultural ancestors, the
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) show that their religious ceremonies were like those of the Pueblo today. Many of the dwellings are now in national parks. Some of the better-known ones are those of the Mesa Verde National ParkMesa Verde National Park
, 52,122 acres (21,109 hectares), SW Colorado; est. 1906. It includes the most notable and best-preserved cliff dwellings (see cliff dwellers) and relics in the United States, covering four archaeological periods. There are museums and a library.
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, in Colorado, where there are more than 300 dwellings; Canyons of the Ancients and Yucca House national monuments, also in Colorado; Hovenweep National Monument, in Utah; Bandelier and Gila Cliff Dwellings national monuments, in New Mexico; and Canyon de ChellyCanyon de Chelly National Monument
[De Chelly, Sp. corruption of Navajo Tsegi = rock canyon], 83,840 acres (33,955 hectares), NE Ariz.; est. 1931. The area contains the ruins of several hundred prehistoric Native American villages, most of them built A.D. 350–1300.
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, Casa Grande Ruins, Montezuma CastleMontezuma Castle National Monument,
858 acres (347 hectares), central Ariz.; est. 1906. Montezuma Castle, built c.1250, is a 5-story, 20-room dwelling perched high in the cavity of a cliff. It was named by early settlers who believed it had been built by the Aztecs.
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, and Wupatki national monuments, in Arizona.


See W. Current, Pueblo Architecture of the Southwest (1971).

References in periodicals archive ?
Some add their own creations to this growing population of small cliff dwellers.
Well, judging by the atmosphere in our nation's capitol, it appears that we are all going to be cliff dwellers for quite some time.
One of the undoubted jewels in Colorado's crown, however, is the Mesa Verde National Park, which allows an authentic - and harumscarum - look into the lives of the ancient cliff dwellers of this area.
Rod Beach is a retired physicist who developed a unique theory about what really happened to these people of the great civilization of the Anasazi who are also known as the Cliff Dwellers.
Oneof theundoubtedjewels inColorado's crown is the Mesa Verde National Park, whichallowsan authentic look into the lives of the ancient cliff dwellers of this area.
Summary: IAEd wondered why they lived there, like cliff dwellers perched in high rises along hillsides, people who lived along the Pacific Ring of Fire or tectonic plates.
Composed of close-up or distant shots of cityscapes and high rise buildings, these images--inspired by Hitchcock's Rear Window as seen through the lens of Andreas Gursky--team with almost imperceptible yet tragically telling details of modern-day cliff dwellers.
Other important works illustrated in this book are Stuart Davis' One Mellow Pad, George Bellows' Cliff Dwellers, Thomas Hart Benton's Cradling Wheat and Georgia O'Keeffe's Brooklyn Bridge.
director of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago; a member of the Chicago Crime Commission; director and treasurer of the Highland Park Hospital Board; president of the Cliff Dwellers, a social organization devoted to developing higher standards in the fine arts; and a member of the Exmoor Country Club, the University Club of Chicago and Kiwanis International.
In a few pages, she reverently details the spiritual history of his ancient, animist culture of cliff dwellers whose very name alludes to their powers of survival.
As with other cliff dwellers, the aoudad's hooves are relatively large, equipped with soft, rubbery center pads, and edged with a sharp rim of hard nail, a combination that provides sure traction on almost any surface.
Practitioners of the Arts and Crafts movement, many of whom belonged to the Cliff Dwellers Club, a social organization for artists, authors, and businessmen, advocated the incorporation of Indian motifs in the decorative arts.