Historical Reprints History Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan And Cibola

Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan And Cibola

Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan And Cibola
Catalog # SKU3299
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Victor Mindeleff, Cosmos Mindeleff
ISBN 10: 1610336577
ISBN 13: 9781610336574


A Study of
Pueblo Architecture:
Tusayan And Cibola.

Navaho Houses

2 books in 1 Volume
Large Print

Victor Mindeleff
Cosmos Mindeleff

The remains of pueblo architecture are found scattered over thousands of square miles of the arid region of the southwestern plateaus. This vast area includes the drainage of the Rio Pecos on the east and that of the Colorado on the west, and extends from central Utah on the north beyond the limits of the United States southward, in which direction its boundaries are still undefined.

--New Edition, large 15 point font



The descendants of those who at various times built these stone villages are few in number and inhabit about thirty pueblos distributed irregularly over parts of the region formerly occupied. Of these the greater number are scattered along the upper course of the Rio Grande and its tributaries in New Mexico; a few of them, comprised within the ancient provinces of Cibola and Tusayan, are located within the drainage of the Little Colorado. From the time of the earliest Spanish expeditions into the country to the present day, a period covering more than three centuries, the former province has been often visited by whites, but the remoteness of Tusayan and the arid and forbidding character of its surroundings have caused its more complete isolation. The architecture of this district exhibits a close adherence to aboriginal practices, still bears the marked impress of its development under the exacting conditions of an arid environment, and is but slowly yielding to the influence of foreign ideas.

The present study of the architecture of Tusayan and Cibola embraces all of the inhabited pueblos of those provinces, and includes a number of the ruins traditionally connected with them. It will be observed by reference to the map that the area embraced in these provinces comprises but a small portion of the vast region over which pueblo culture once extended.

In the autumn of 1885 many of the ruined pueblos of Tusayan were surveyed and examined. It was during this season's work that the details of the kiva construction, embodied in the last chapter of this paper, were studied, together with interior details of the dwellings. It was in the latter part of this season that the farming pueblos of Cibola were surveyed and photographed.

The Tusayan farming pueblo of Moen-kopi and a number of the ruins in the province were surveyed and studied in the early part of the season of 1887-'88, the latter portion of which season was principally devoted to an examination of the Chaco ruins in New Mexico.

In the prosecution of the field work above outlined the author has been greatly indebted to the efficient assistance and hearty cooperation of Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff, by whom nearly all the pueblos illustrated, with the exception of Zuñ i, have been surveyed and platted.

The plans obtained have involved much careful work with surveying instruments, and have all been so platted as faithfully to record the minute variations from geometric forms which are so characteristic of the pueblo work, but which have usually been ignored in the hastily prepared sketch plans that have at times appeared. In consequence of the necessary omission of just such information in hastily drawn plans, erroneous impressions have been given regarding the degree of skill to which the pueblo peoples had attained in the planning and building of their villages. In the general distribution of the houses, and in the alignment and arrangement of their walls, as indicated in the plans shown in Chapters II and III, an absence of high architectural attainment is found, which is entirely in keeping with the lack of skill apparent in many of the constructional devices shown in Chapter IV.

In preparing this paper for publication Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff has rendered much assistance in the revision of manuscript, and in the preparation of some of the final drawings of ground plans; on him has also fallen the compilation and arrangement of Mr. A. M. Stephen's traditionary material from Tusayan, embraced in the first chapter of the paper.

This latter material is of special interest in a study of the pueblos as indicating some of the conditions under which this architectural type was developed, and it appropriately introduces the more purely architectural study by the author.

Such traditions must be used as history with the utmost caution, and only for events that are very recent. Time relations are often hopelessly confused and the narratives are greatly incumbered with mythologic details. But while so barren in definite information, these traditions are of the greatest value, often through their merely incidental allusions, in presenting to our minds a picture of the conditions under which the repeated migrations of the pueblo builders took place.

The development of architecture among the Pueblo Indians was comparatively rapid and is largely attributable to frequent changes, migrations, and movements of the people as described in Mr. Stephen's account. These changes were due to a variety of causes, such as disease, death, the frequent warfare carried on between different tribes and branches of the builders, and the hostility of outside tribes; but a most potent factor was certainly the inhospitable character of their environment. The disappearance of some venerated spring during an unusually dry season would be taken as a sign of the disfavor of the gods, and, in spite of the massive character of the buildings, would lead to the migration of the people to a more favorable spot. The traditions of the Zuñ is, as well as those of the Tusayan, frequently refer to such migrations. At times tribes split up and separate, and again phratries or distant groups meet and band together. It is remarkable that the substantial character of the architecture should persist through such long series of compulsory removals, but while the builders were held together by the necessity for defense against their wilder neighbors or against each other, this strong defensive motive would perpetuate the laborious type of construction. Such conditions would contribute to the rapid development of the building art.

412 pages - 8½ x 11 softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336577
ISBN-13: 9781610336574

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