Last fall, I got a stay in a camping cabin at Lyman Lake State Park in a silent auction. I had driven past the lake but never stayed there. It's a 4 hour drive from Phoenix and not far from the border of New Mexico. Lynnora and Cindy came along.
I brought a crochet project to work on, but finished it right away. Just a few more touches to do at home now.
As usual, we had lots of good cooks and good food. No campfires or charcoal allowed now, so cooking was done on the camp stove. We were all trying to diet, so lots of meat an veggies.
The second day, we headed off to the Zuni Pueblo for a tour. We got routed on a 1.5 hour detour all the way back to Holbrook. It was especially annoying when we figured out it was completely unnecessary later. Nevertheless, we made it to Zuni.
There were these clay ovens everywhere, at the homes. They use them for breads and as slow cookers. They were pretty cool looking. I was a little confused, because I thought I was taking us to see a mesa top pueblo that I had tried to visit before.
Our tour guide, took us on a tour of the middle village after giving us a primer on the Zuni creation story. The Zuni believe the people were created out of a cavern in the Grand Canyon. The related peoples (Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Laguna) were sent out to find the middle place, where they could safeguard the living beating heart of the people. Some stayed in the area and others traveled for hundreds of years looking for the middle place. Mesa Verde and Chaco canyon are remnants from that diaspora. Eventually the travelling Zuni's reunited with the stationary Zuni's. After an examination of a year or so to make sure that their theology wasn't contaminated from their travels, they were welcomed back and middle village was declared the middle place, where the living heart of the people is still kept.
This is a kiva house. There are 12 of them in the village, with a ladder that goes up the outside and then another that goes down in the middle, several stories below ground. They are very protective of their religious ceremonies and no photos are allowed. The "kachinas" of the Zuni are called Shalako's. When they come up from the kiva's they are 12 feet tall.
Once a year, there are Shalako houses built for each of them. Young couples are chosen four years in advance to build a Shalako house. They have that time to raise the money and build the house. The Shalako comes and dances and feast in the house. It is considered a great blessing to be chosen and to have a Shalako home. The restaurant where we had lunch was once a Shalako home.
Our tour guide is showing us over the old mission church, which used to be a catholic church. It is now being restored for historical purposes.
This is the kiva house where the beating heart of the people is kept, several stories below ground. You can see the ladder up and the ladder down. The kiva societies are all men and are like fraternities, you are invited to join. If you look closely you can see folding chairs laying along the roof line. They were all around this central, ceremonial plaza. They are permanent place holders marking people's spots for the ceremonies. If someone's is moved, it causes hard feelings.
When we got back, we went to look at the Indian ruins the ranger had told us about in the campground area. The signs say there were also a Kiva building community and were likely relatives of the Zuni's. There were pot shards all over that you were welcome to look at and put back. Some people had put together a little collection of them.
We had a traditional lunch at Zuni. I had green chili stew with soapapillas. Lynnora and Cindy had Indian taco's.
Thursday, we got out the kayaks. I hadn't tried to do use it since I had my knee replacement. I was happy to be back on the water and was able to do ok!
We kayaked over most of the lake and were out 2 hours. I got a little toasty. We had the lake almost completely to ourselves.
Lynnora got a little kayak that she can fit in her car. It's for white water, but she makes it work for her.