Friday, April 25, 2014

A Visit to Petroglyph National Monument

Last week we took our show on the road as we had to travel to New Mexico for a funeral (more on that in another post).  Between familial events and obligations we visited Petroglyph National Monument which is located just west of Albuquerque.
A finger-like extension of the Chihuahuan desert runs through this area and the landscape seems a bit harsh
but there is beautiful life to be found.

Boulders of basalt formed when lava flowed through fissures many, many years ago can also be found.

Upon closer inspection you will find that there is something more, something very special about these basalt boulders...

...there are petroglyphs on them.
Images have been carved in to them.  Through the years these boulders have oxidized creating "desert varnish" over the surface of the stone.  When the surface is chipped away a lighter stone color is revealed below and leaves a noticeable and remarkable image.
Although some of the carvings can be attributed to early Spanish settlers the overwhelming majority have been carved by the Puebloan Indians.
 The locations and images chosen would have spiritual significance to either an individual or group of people.
Some images are recognizable...
...and their meaning may be deduced to a degree.
However, the significance of many of the images,
and, particularly, the meaning as intended by the artist
 will never be known.

It was a deeply moving and awe-inspiring experience.

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