Canyon de Chelly National Monument

  • Grades: 6–8, 9–12

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, in northeastern Arizona within the Navajo Indian Reservation, covers 33,929 ha (83,840 acres). The Anasazi, ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians, built villages in the canyon between 350 and 1300 (when they deserted it), inhabiting it longer than any other site. Among the many ruins, some with pictographs on the walls, are White House, Antelope House, and Mummy Cave. The Navajo Indians migrated to Canyon de Chelly around 1700, and the monument includes the sites of battles they fought against the Spanish (1805) and, later, the U.S. Cavalry under Kit Carson (1864). Canyon de Chelly became a national monument in 1931. The floor of the canyon is still inhabited by Navajo farmers and shepherds.

Bibliography: Grant, Campbell, Canyon de Chelly (1977); Hagerty, Don, Canyon de Chelly: 100 Years of Painting and Photography (1996); Houk, R., Navajo of Canyon de Chelly, ed. by S. Scott (1995); Noble, D. G., ed., Houses beneath the Rock: The Anasazi of Canyon de Chelly and Navajo National Monument, 2d ed. (1993); Thybony, Scott, Canyon de Chelly National Monument (1997).

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