Recently, I took a trip up to Northern Arizona to Tuzigoot National Monument(Too-zie Goot), but unfortuneatly I didn't have a guide. So I summoned the powers of the Spanish Gods to bring me the King of Tuzigoot. The only compromise? Provide glasses and regular human clothing to keep him "incognito" amongst the commoners.
He began with his story of his people...the Southern Sinagua. It was a prehistoric culture that once flourished in the Verde Valley but around the early 1400's disappeared for unknown reasons. "King Tuzigoot" explained that it may bave been from overpopulation, disease, changes to weather patterns, and depletion of natural resources. And with the Spanish conquistadors and their own beliefs, he said many of his people changed their spiritual ways. He also explained to me that he was surprised that this place was still preserved hundreds of years later.
He missed the old days and tried to summon his people from on top of the hill. These were the fields were his people worked and lived. But a road and developing suburb stained the landscape and reminded him that his people no longer existed. No trace left behind but these ruins.
In the winter, much of the land appeared brown and dead, but the Verde River nearby supplied fresh water and opportunities to hunt for food. While appearing like nothing more than a moderately sized home by our standards today, this village was inhabited by around 50 people. Eventually it doubled in the 1200's. And again later, and this is when the people would disappear. I explained that the same thing was happening on our Earth with the ENTIRE human race. He simply shook his head and together we both said, "Birth control. "
One part of the land was for harvesting corn and other crops. While on the other, trees covered another area which made great habitat for wildlife like birds and deer.
King Tuzigoot recalled his days milling corn and he smiled.
He also noticed a beautiful visitor center and an entrance fee of about 5 dollars. I explained to him that in our culture today we "traded" this money for food, education, maintenance, etc. and that this paper would help preserve the memory of his people.
So he went to the other side of the hill and looked over the riparian section where he chanted and placed a magic spell over his former home so that it would be forever preserved for others to learn about his people and their past.
From inside his home, we sat and enjoyed a bit of shade from the intense sun.
Sadly, we had to depart as the gates to his park closed at 5 PM. I explained that it was necessary to protect his home from vandals and those who would do harm to his lands. He said good-bye to the tourists below, but they ignored him and went on their way. I shook his hand and thanked him for the tour. I drove back to Tucson with a lot to think about that evening.
For more information on Tuzigoot, click here.
Easy walk for everyone. On the day we went, there were 50-60 year old people with their parents. It was really touching and a great way to spend time with family. It's kid and people with special circumstances friendly. Wheelchair accesible except for the very top of the village.
very cool! and even cooler that you were able to summon THE KING, even if he was incognito...what a tour!!ReplyDelete
looks like a place i need to add to my list of places to SEE when i retire...and can spend my time exploring!! thanks! GREAT pic's!
What a wonderful, delightful, educational entry. Looks like someplace I would love to visit.ReplyDelete
a handsome god you found, with an enamoring smile. :)ReplyDelete
King Tuzigoot...that's great! What a sage. Another place to stop by, instead of gunning it from Phx to Abq in 6 hours flat. I must take some more diversions, like I used to do.ReplyDelete
What a great post... I loved hearing all about the King of Tuzigoot from your perspective... What a great place and one I'd love to visit sometime. Thanks for all of the great info.. SO interesting.ReplyDelete
I never mind giving money to a park or visitor center since I know that my money will help keep the park in good shape for future generations to enjoy.
Thanks for sharing.
Would love to visit that beautiful place.
Have a great weekend.
Very nice impresssion and very good pictures,ReplyDelete
thanks for sharing this with us.
What a nice story, I'll bet you came away with lots of memory.ReplyDelete
Ciekawe miejsce do zwiedzenie. Niestety dla mnie za daleko :-(. Pięknie zdjęcia i interesujący opis. Pozdrawiam.*** Interesting place to visit. Unfortunately for me too far :-(. Beautiful pictures and interesting description. Regards.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and info.ReplyDelete
This was cool. I don't know how many times I have driven by that sign with mild curiosity but never took the time to go look.ReplyDelete
It looks and sounds a fascinating place and you presented it in a very imaginative way ;-)ReplyDelete
What a neat place to visit, I love the photos and the scenery s gorgeous. Thanks for tour.ReplyDelete