Long before modern buildings and chíc cafés, Native Americans ruled the land, and found a deep connection with the earth and nature. These spiritual areas are now known as sacred sites, which still hold a special place in the Native American culture’s heart. So the next time you want to get in touch with Mother Earth or ancient American history take a trip to one of these sacred Native American sites.
Zuni River, Arizona
The Zuni is a 90-mile tributary of the Little Colorado River. The river originates in New Mexico and flows southwest through the Zuni Indian Reservation to meet with the Little Colorado in Arizona. The Zuni is sacred to the Zuni people, who are recognized as one of the pueblo people.
Crater Lake National Park, OregonThis caldera-lake is located in south-central Oregon and is a recognized national park. The 2,148-foot crater formed from the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano. One legend states Indigenous Native Americans, The Klamath Tribe, witnessed the eruption due to a great battle between Chief Llao (of the Below World) and Chief Skell (of the Above World) where the battle ended with the destruction of Mount Mazama. Another legend claims the water came from tears of wolves.
Grand Canyon National Park, ArizonaThe Grand Canyon symbolizes sacred grounds to many Native American tribes. The Hopi, meaning good, peaceful and wise, believed that people and animals emerged from the canyon at a spring located near the Colorado and Little Colorado River. They also believed their spirits rest at the canyon. Some may still find split twig figurines made from willow or cottonwood, which were created by the Desert People.
Sedona, ArizonaSedona has long been habited by Native American tribes dating back to 4000 BC with hunter-gatherers. Hike the Montezuma’s castle or the red cliffs to view the ancient petroglyphs and pictographs left behind from the ancient people. Sedona is most well-known for its “Vortex,” which are spiraling motions of air, not caused by air, but spiritual energy. These energy-spots are the best for prayer, meditation, and healing and best to get in touch with one’s inner-self.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TexasThe Guadalupes symbolize an important cultural and spiritual sanctuary for the Mescalero Apaches. Today, members of each tribe come annually to harvest agaves for ceremonial purposes. The Apaches were driven to resort mountain ranges, including Guadalupe, and learned to survive with native animals and local plants, which the agave served as a major part of their diet and culture.
Yellowstone National Park, WyomingYellowstone National Park was known to be created on sacred land. This land once revered by various tribes dating back to 10,000 years in history. In total, 26 tribes have ancestral connections to Yellowstone and is still considered sacred grounds. Obsidian Cliff is one of the best places to search for arrowheads. Tribes held various names for the park including the Crow’s “Land of Vapor” and referred to the geysers as bide-mahpe meaning “Sacred or Powerful Water.”
All images sourced from thinkstock.com