Artwork Description / Detail
“Of all the great Canyons of the West, Canyon de Chelly is one of the loveliest. As we walked down the Zig-zag path carved in the rock face, we were en-thralled by it’s beauty. Above and around us rose towering smooth walls, striped like banners by weather of the ages and glowing in reds and ochres. Down on the canyon floor the autumn trees appeared as a flow of gold along the stream’s edge.
When you peer over the edge of Canyon de Chelly you look down into history, for much has happened here. The Pueblo people built their cliff houses somewhere between 1100 and 1300, but the disastrous drought of the 1200′s drove them out of the south. The Navajos came here some five-hundred years later, and their raids along Rio Grande brought the Spaniards in re-prisal. A battle was fought here in 1805, and many Navajos were killed in the fortified rock shelter now known as Massacre Cave. Kit Carson and the U.S cavalry came in 1864, and the Navajos began the “long walk”, as they call it, to a reservation where many died. After four years they were allowed to return, and today you can still see here and there their patches of cultivation on the floor of the Canyon.”
- Peter McIntyre
Extract from: McIntyre, P. (1970) Peter McIntyre’s West. New Zealand: A.H & A.W Reed.