Sunday, August 9, 2015

Coronado State Monument

The Coronado State Monument is located
north of Albuquerque. It is named for Francisco Vasquez de Coronado,
who was an early Spanish explorer. His search for the fabled
"Seven Cities of Gold" brought him to the southwest in 1540.
He is believed to have camped near this site with his soldiers
between 1540 and 1542. 

Coronado State Monument was the first
historic site in the state to be open to the public. It was dedicated on May 29, 1940
as a part of the 400 year anniversary of Coronado's expedition in New Mexico.

Coronado State Monument 1950

The monument preserves the ruins of the Kuaua Pueblo.
The Kuaua people were Tiwa speaking farmers who lived here
from around 1325 to 1550. By the mid 1500's, they dispersed
among the other Tiwa speaking tribes in the region.

Archaeologists were working on this site in the 1930's.
The archaeologists found six kivas.
They discovered a series of murals in the square kiva
in the south plaza. They are considered to be
some of the best examples of pre-Colombian art in North America.
Visitors can enter the reconstructed square kiva with one layer
of recreated murals.

Visitors are not allowed to photograph the murals in the visitor center
museum or in the kiva out of respect for the sacred practices of the Pueblo people,
but these are some previously photographed samples from the internet.

The ruins and kivas were very interesting,
but soon we finished walking the path behind the visitor's center.

After exploring the main area,
we enjoyed the other highlight of this historic site.
It is next to the Rio Grande. Many Pueblo tribes
lived near the river to support their farming lifestyle.

ADAD Water

After enjoying the view of the Rio Grande,
we looped around back to the visitor center entrance.
It was designed by John Gaw-Meem, who was a notable
architect who contributed to making the Pueblo Revival style popular.
It was commissioned in 1938. It was more recently restored.

In front of the visitor's center, there was a small crop of growing corn
and an ox cart on display.

  Ella mentioned that we had been there longer than
several other visitors we had seen come and go.
We had seen everything on this beautiful Sunday,

and it was time to go home.

I consider this outing to be the last of our summer
vacation visits around New Mexico.

I returned to work as a teacher on Friday,

with the full 5 day work week starting tomorrow.
It is certainly not the end of summer, or of our trips around

to our local historic, nature, museum, and educational sites,
but they will have to be reserved for weekends and other days off.

Reflection, gratitude, appreciation...

1 comment:

  1. What a great blog post, very interesting place to visit.