Sunday, October 31, 2021

Mosaic Monday #153: The Village of Tyuonyi

For many visitors to New Mexico, the artifacts of the Ancestral Pueblo people inspire imagination, and perhaps none more so than the remnants of cliff dwellings found throughout the Southwest.  On our second day in Santa Fe, we toured Bandelier National Monument, named for the self-taught anthropologist and historian Adolph F.A. Bandelier.  Long before he first viewed ancestral homes in Frijoles Canyon in 1880, the Pueblo people had thrived among the sheer cliffs and year-round stream, constructing a village and utilizing distinctive cave-room architecture. 

They were farmers who grew maize (corn), beans and squash.  They supplemented their diet with native plants and by hunting deer, rabbits, other mammals and birds.  

As we looked down into the valley from some of the cliff dwellings, we saw several deer grazing near the ruins of the village of Tyuonyi (QU-weh-nee).

Archeological surveys show at least 3,000 sites in Bandelier, but not all were inhabited at the same time.  For generations these people lived in small, scattered settlements of perhaps one or two families each.  As the population grew, people began coming together in larger groups, and, by the mid-1200s, villages often included as many as 40 rooms.  In the following 250 years, fewer and larger villages were established, with some exceeding 400 rooms.  In Bandelier, the villages of Tyuonyi and Tsankawi (SAN-kuh-wee) exemplify this period.

If you look closely at the rendering above, you will notice dwellings nestled snugly against the cliff wall.  Today, you can still see the remains of these homes.  Long House is an 800-foot stretch of adjoining, multi-storied stone homes with hand-carved caves (cavates) as back rooms. 

I was fascinated by the ladders located throughout the site, which gain visitors access to the caves, many of them featuring carved-out cooking spaces and benches.  But the most amazing dwelling came at the end of the trail.  140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon, the Alcove House was once home to approximately 25 Ancestral Pueblo people.   Inside the alcove today are the viga holes (where the beams were inserted), niches of former homes and a reconstructed kiva.

Four separate ladders were required to ascend the 140 feet.  You would want to be sure you had done everything you needed to before retiring for the night, lest you have to navigate those ladders by starlight!!!

No translatable records existed before the Spanish colonized New Mexico, but in their oral traditions today, Pueblo people remember the places where their ancestors lived.  The Pueblos of Cochiti, San Felipe, Santo Domingo, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara and Zuni have declared their strong ties to Bandelier.  Representatives from these Pueblos work closely with park staff to make decisions affecting their ancestral homelands.  "Spiritually, our ancestors still live here at Bandelier.  You see reminders of their presence here - their homes, their kivas, and their petroglyphs.  As you walk in their footsteps, value the earth beneath you and show everything the same respect we do when we re-visit this sacred place."  Affiliated Pueblo Committee

While I had hoped to find a souvenir with the logo, the gift shop did not carry many such items apart from this pin that #1 Son added to his pin collection.  I opted for these spectacular ceramic coasters.  I will remember this place with a sense of wonderment and awe.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. ...what an interesting place, but there's no way that I would climb the ladder! Thanks for hosting the party Angie.

  2. It must have been a wonder in it’s day. It’s such a fascinating place!
    No ladder for me, although I’d like to believe curiosity would have gotten the better of me.
    Thank you for hosting, Angie.

  3. An interesting place! The cave rooms look like ingenious solution for Pueblo people.

  4. That looks like such a cool place to explore!

  5. Hi Angie
    We have yet to visit Santa Fe but when we do we will definitely visit Bandelier National Monument. It reminds me of Mesa Verde National Park in SE Colorado where the ancients also lived in many different cliff dwellings in a very deep high canyon. It was so interesting to visit!

  6. My goodness, look at those ladders! I think I would have to be a much younger me to explore here. Thanks for taking us along. Fascinating. Enjoy your week, stay safe, and thankyou again for the link up.

  7. I really enjoyed reading, Angie! Long House is so fascinating. I could not have climbed a ladder though, too much fear of height.


  8. Good Morning, Angie... here we have fog and today is in Germany all saints holiday. We think on our Family.

    The Post I can read twice it's very interesting. The cavesarouse curiosity. And I like the first capture with you both, with your smile. This journey must been wonderful.

    Have a good week.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  9. Hello Angie,
    It is an interesting place to visit. I am not sure if I could climb those ladders, wow. The views are beautiful. What a great park. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  10. What a stunning and interesting archeological site you've visited, thank you for sharing such amazing images with us and for hosting, as well!
    Wishing you a most lovely new week
    XO Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)

  11. An amazing place, Angie. It's just the sort of place that I love visiting. So much history!

  12. I always find it fascinating and instructive to come to places where you can see up close how people lived millennia or centuries ago. Unfortunately, I have not yet visited a place like this, but I hope that one day I will be able to. It was very nice to accompany you there virtually!
    All the best,

  13. That really is an amazing place to see, thanks for taking us along!

  14. Awesome visit. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday mosaic


  15. It really is a humbling experience to spend time at this place. I don't think you could have gotten me on one of the ladders though. I'm glad I visited these places when I was younger. Love your photos and the memories it brings back of living in that area. Happy Monday!

  16. Wow! That ladder. I need to visit this place.

  17. What a place you visited!! The ancient people who lived there remain such a mystery. It does seem though that some ancient history remains with their descendants to this day. I got a sharp reply from a Taos Pueblo resident when I asked about them descending from the Anasazi. She said, no!! Okay then. I wasn't going to contest it as I figured she knew more than I did which was very little.
    Thank you for hosting.

  18. I didn't doubt you agile hikers would make the climb. I would have waited for you at the bottom. A fascinating place to visit.

  19. I am so glad you were able to visit these ancient ruins, what an amazing adventure! My family has been able to explore many of the different ruins around Sedona and Flagstaff in northern AZ, but I still want to see the ones in New Mexico and Colorado.

  20. What an interesting place.
    I enjoyed your post, thank you.

    Happy November wishes.

    All the best Jan

  21. Wow, such an impressive site! I always love visiting the cliff dwelling and pueblo ruins around the southwest - so much history!

  22. Such a fascinating history to explore. The cliff dwellers constructed an amazing civilization.

  23. Interesting! I should go to New Mexico. But I can't get over the pronunciation of Tyuonyi! ;-)

  24. Looks like a fascinating place to visit.

  25. Such a fascinating place to explore! Those ladders!

    And the views are spectacular, Angie.

  26. Wow … that’s like scaling a 12 or 13 story apartment building! Good for you and particularly for the original people who created such a magnificent monument to their tenacity.

  27. Beautiful sight you have seen, I love them all Angie.

  28. What a fascinating place that must be Angie. Can't imagine our generation coping with living like that. And certainly not our young and younger ones.

    I wonder where you are now? Perhaps you made it to God's Own County Lancashire to sample its delights?

  29. I´m no fan of ladders so. I probably would not climb it!

  30. What a nice place to explore. There also would be no ladder climbing for me either. :-)


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