A broader view

New book explores relationship between Anasazi, non-Puebloans

By Cindy Yurth
Tséyi' Bureau

CHINLE, June 26, 2014

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The relationship between the Ancestral Puebloans and their modern descendants has been recognized for centuries, although it wasn't until relatively recently archeologists started mining the modern Puebloans' oral history for clues to the lives of their ancestors.

Much less discussed is the relationship between the vanished civilization and the non-Puebloan tribes of the Four Corners: the Utes, Paiutes and Navajo.

Until now.

In his scholarly yet captivating book "Viewing the Ancestors: Perceptions of the Anaasázi, Mokwic and Hisatsinom,"  Blanding, Utah-based historian Robert McPherson argues that these non-Puebloans had — and continue to have — an intimate and intricate relationship with the people they refer to as the Anasazi (in Navajo) or Mokwic (Ute).

This, of course, is not news to the Diné. Anyone who has ever attended a Navajo ceremony has heard songs and stories that refer to Anasazi sites, and even most younger Diné have a healthy respect for these ruins.

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