Posts Tagged ‘Coronado Historic Site’

Another kiva
This time in Bernalillo.
Down a ladder I climb stiffly. Stand with
thirteen others listening to a professor
with a New York accent
illuminate us about 100 years’
of a disappeared puebloan village.
I finally understand the housing configuration
for a family . . . imagine myself lying on a flat
adobe roof, star gazing.  I could have been
happy there . . . next to the Rio Grande River.



Coronado Historic Site and the ruins of Kuaua Pueblo were located a couple of stoplights away from our Day’s Inn motel. As soon as we check in, drive to the ruins and tour the beautifully restored site.

We learn that the infamous Spanish explorer Coronado discovered this and eleven other pueblos in 1540. The native people’s ancestors had been living in this area for thousands of years. The Kuaua Pueblo had been established in 1325.  With a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains within a few city blocks from the Rio Grande River, these folks enjoyed a prosperous existence. The early residents grew corn, squash and beans.The picture below is taken from the front steps of the visitor center.



Before we can enter the restored kiva, a learned gentleman gives us a lecture about the wall art we are about to see. Excavation and preservation has taken many years. He tells us there were 17 layers of art. Each was painstakingly removed and preserved. What we will see in the kiva is a reproduction done by a Zia Indian of one layer. I took the following picture inside the kiva.



Thankfully I also took the picture below showing the ladder. Jim stands beside me in shadow. The kiva is square in shape with pictures painted on all sides.



I say “thankfully” because as I wrote this blog, something clicked in my mind. Below is a photo my father took of my mom around 1980. It’s been a favorite of mine for all these years and it hangs next to my bed. I’ve always wondered where it was taken. When I photographed the photograph, I did it practically in the dark to eliminate the reflection of the glass. The picture is lighter and brighter in reality.



Eureka!  This is the same kiva I was in!  The man in my picture (above) is standing on the floor with the same wall art at his elbow as the wall art in front of my mom at the level of her thigh. Mom has climbed a few rungs, so the wall art behind her appears lower.

Subconsciously, on this trip, I was in search of the kiva where that photo of Mom was taken. That is why I wanted to enter the kivas at Aztec and Coronado. And without knowing why, I took the picture of the ladder at almost the same angle as my father had. Some part of my unfinished business is now finished!


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