Tribes Of The Grand Canyon – The Anasazi

Who were the Anasazi? Why do they remain such an enigmatic race even today?  Steeped in an aura of mystery and intrigue , this Native Indian tribe still continues fascinate the people even now, with a slew of references to the tribe made in popular movies and cult TV hits such as The X-files.  An “Ancient People” – Is what the Anasazi means today. In Navajo it roughly translates to “Ancient Ones” or “Ancient enemy”.  How did these people live and more importantly, why did they disappear without a trace? Let’s go back in time and see if we can find any answers.

The Ancient Pueblo people, over 2000 years ago, began to flourish in the Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southern Colorado. They built homes, called “Pueblos” (“villages” in Spanish) stone and adobe dwellings along tall cliffs, and were inaccessible without tall ladders. During enemy attacks, they simply lifted up the ladders into their homes, thereby warding off any further encroachment. These structures are still standing today and make for splendid sights in Chaco Canyon. These pueblos can also be seen in National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park and the Aztec Ruins National Monument.

The ancient Pueblo people, who were primarily Hunter-gatherers slowly transformed into a tribe that were expert basket weavers. This was the Anasazi who eventually began to occupy the Grand Canyon region. In addition to basket weaving, they were excellent at making pottery. They also were great artists, often creating scenes from their daily lives on walls of their abodes. These can be found as petroglyphs and pictograms today.

So how did an entire tribe vanish, leaving behind vast evidences of a culturally rich life? Here are a few theories that might help shed some light.

The Cataclysmic effect – Around 1110 AD, severe droughts were plaguing the areas where the Anasazi lived. They either wiped out entire populations owning to food scarcity or forced countless people to migrate out of the region. This still doesn’t explain satisfactorily why an entire tribe would be forced to migrate leaving all their belongings behind.

Conflicting Tribes – Imagine this basket weaving tribe coming under attack from a belligerent tribe. This might have led to a mass destruction of the existing population. What’s contradicting however, is that the grounds were not desecrated, nor were the cities looted. Most bodies that were found were in a peacefully buried state. If there indeed was a warlike situation, there would’ve been evidence of large scale destruction.

Extraterrestrial – Scoff if you must, but if ET went home, and countless extremely intelligent races such as the Atlantians, the Mayans and certain sects of Egyptians disappeared without a trace, just as the Anasazi did, do we look elsewhere for the answers?

The truth is certainly out there.

If you are intrigued by the history of the Grand Canyon and want to learn more about its inhabitants over the years, tour Grand Canyon today and indulge in a custom tour. Read more about the tours here.