Our first stop on May 2 was an RV park in Kayenta on the Navajo Reservation, a comfortable 250 mile drive from Mesa. Next to it were two museums and a “Trading Post” selling native crafts and souvenirs of the “Rez”. The next day we continued to Blanding UT where we stayed 3 days seeing some local sights we had missed in previous visits, including another museum.
Jo is modeling a shoulder purse with a Navajo rug design – made of Pendleton wool.
A small museum at the back of the trading post featured the Navajo Code Talkers used extensively by Army and Marine units fighting in the Pacific. Although as civilians the Navajos then were treated as second class citizens, the first group of code talkers devised the code using Navajo words to express military nouns and verbs. A person fluent in Navajo could not understand the spoken code, and neither could the Japanese! The item on shorter legs in the display is a hand driven generator to power the radios. On the easel is the names of the 400 code talkers who served, beginning with a group of 29. An hour video was vey instructive. The museum is well worth the time to visit it.
A more modern museum on the Navajos is behind the trading post. We saved that one for next time!
NEXT SHOWN IS THE EDGE OF THE CEDARS MUSEUM IN BLANDING
The oldest artifacts on display are these digging sticks dated to around 230 AD. The information on the easel says that they were found with 10 or 12 other sticks in a cave.
A modern sculpture of Kokopelli is encountered by those exiting the museum on the way to the Pueblo at the back of the museum. Inside a display makes the point that the Hopi Flute Clan has a “Flute Man” shown in kachinas and petroglyphs. That is a diety and much different than Kokopelli.
The museum opened in 1978, and 10 years later the Great Room area of the pueblo structures behind the museum was excavated and stabilized. More structures nearby remain to be dug by the archeologists.
Looking north with the Abajo mountains on the horizon.
A display inside the museum showed the main ways that masonry walls were built by the natives and pointed out that the method shown here is superior to others. The small rocks placed in the mortar make the wall stronger.
Visitors were invited to climb down into the reconstructed Kiva. It was about 13 feet in diameter.
While in Blanding we took a day trip to Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park, the Moki Dugway road and Natural Bridges National Monument. Since I forgot to pack a camera, no blog pictures1