Volltext: Patterns of culture

  
  
THE PUEBLOS OF NEW MEXICO . 53 
north, no one ventures to explain. It seems one of the 
most forbidding regions in the whole of what is now the 
United States, yet it was here that there grew up the 
greatest Indian cities north of Mexico. These were of two 
kinds, and they seem to have been built by the same 
civilization at the same period: the cliff-dwellings, and the 
semicircular valley citadels. The cliff-dwellings dug into 
the sheer face of the precipice, or built on a ledge hun- 
dreds of feet from the valley floor, are some of the most 
romantic habitations of mankind. We cannot guess what 
the circumstances were that led to the construction of 
these homes, far from the cornfields and far from any 
water supply, which must have been serious if they were 
planned as fortifications, but some of the ruins enduringly 
challenge our admiration of ingenuity and beauty. One 
thing is never omitted in them, no matter how solid the 
tock ledge upon which the pueblo is built: the under- 
ground ceremonial chamber, the kiva, is hewed out to 
accommodate a man upright, and is large enough to serve 
as a gathering-room. It is entered by a ladder through a 
hatchway. 
The other type of dwelling was a prototype of the 
modern planned city: a semicircular sweep of wall that 
rose three stories at the fortified exterior and was terraced . 
inward as it approached the underground kivas that 
clustered in the embrace of the great masonry arms. Some 
of the great valley cities of this type have not only the 
small kivas, but one great additional temple similarly 
sunk into the earth and of the most finished and perfect 
masonry. 
The peak of Pueblo civilization had been reached and 
passed before the Spanish adventurers came searching for 
cities of gold. It seems likely that the Navajo-Apache 
tribes from the north cut off the supplies of water from 
the cities of these ancient peoples and overcame them. 
When the Spanish came, they had already abandoned 
 
	        
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