What were the Hopi and Apache tribes
In the land of the rainbow and the red mountains
Encounters with Indians and Shamans in the Southwest of the USA
Infinite expanse - breathtaking landscapes - expressive, weather-beaten faces of ancient Indians, eyes that testify full of inner harmony and wisdom - a starry sky in the deep black night, within reach - hundreds, thousands and thousands of luminous celestial bodies cover the company.
No annoying neon light interrupts the harmony of the infinite cosmos above us, only in the distance does the single twinkle of a lantern flicker on the Hogan of the clan relatives of my Indian friends, a family of the Navaho Indians in Monument Valley, on the border with Utah and Arizona.
My small travel group and I enjoy the absolute silence, only occasionally accompanied by the drawn-out howling of a lonely coyote, which the medicine men and women of the Navaho Indians can prove if it crossed our path from the left, it would give our life a positive turn.
8 people from Bavaria and different regions of Germany arrive at the airport in Phoenix, all of whom have one thing in common: they would like to get to know the life of today's Indians and experience it for themselves! We were brought together by my slide shows and events about the Navaho, Hopi and Ute Indians in the southwest of the USA.
After a night in the hotel, our journey together in the 15-person bus begins at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, one of the largest and best-equipped Indian museums about the tribes of the Four Corner Area in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. A lot about life then and now, clothing and handicrafts give us an insight into what we will soon be able to experience first-hand, unlike many other visitors.
From there the road leads us to Sedona in Red Rock County, the colorful rocks of the Red Desert. Jesse, an Indian pan flute player takes us into the Mystery Canyon, into deep gorges and places where he found his music in the sounding bamboo a long time ago in complete solitude. Today he mixes the background noises of nature with his beautiful tones to create a unique melody for us that enchants, holds us completely under its spell. We find it difficult to find our way back to reality, emerge from our dreams and say goodbye to this wonderful country by taking a helicopter flight into the colorful sunset and drive back to the motel to be prepared for the next, special day.
Because next morning, in the middle of the Arizona desert, we get to know one of the oldest peoples on earth - the Hopi Indians. Known for their very special ability to survive in the dust-dry desert of the Colorado Plateau, to grow corn, legumes, sugar-sweet melons and squash there, to supply a whole people with the few resources of this area with the help of unique ceremonies, chants and dances. The Hopi mix millennia-old agricultural knowledge with the cycle of nature, they sing and dance countless times a year for their plants. You yourself radiate inner harmony and oneness with the clouds, the earth, people and animals and have a rich harvest year after year through their deep connection to Mother Earth. For one day we are your guests, enjoy a Hopi-style dinner, seasoned with the healing herbs of the desert, get to know and love your ancient villages on the mesas, some of which date from the 15th century.
The Navaho Indians immigrated towards the end of the 16th century from northwestern Canada to the area of the Hopi Indians in the southwest of the USA. They have always been nomads and with the arrival of the Spaniards and their horses, they became gifted riders, whose traditions are still deeply infused with the culture of their horses. Nowhere else in the world has such a symbiosis between humans and horses emerged in such a short period of time. Not only observed by the Navaho Indians, many other Great Plains tribes can boast of their horseback-mingling.
We are guests of the Navaho and live with them in the desert for a few days. They invited us to participate as friends in their life and traditions. They take us on mysterious ceremonies and dances. Let us look into their fascinating world, still full of myths and legends, medical healings and prophecies. Our accommodation these days is a hogan built in an ancient way, like an igloo made of sand and juniper tree trunks, to hide the icy cold of the desert night and to support the power of the ceremonies and healing prayers through spiritual incense, it will be huge in the evening Coal chunks in a small, self-made stove from an old oil barrel, heated. There is still no electric light, some old people say that it disturbs the harmony of the spirits. Running water is mostly approached in large canisters, all roads can only be traveled with off-road vehicles.
The Indians show us the dwellings built deep into the rock walls of those who lived on this land a thousand years before them. The way there is marked with pictograms, old rock drawings of the ancestors. Still used today for special ceremonies and social gatherings, the scent of Juniper and various other herbs that seem to have soaked the ancient walls over the centuries is pervasive, mixed with the smoking hearths. We get to know the traditional Indian cuisine of the desert peoples, many ingredients are grown themselves and collected in the desert and the mountains in a similar way to the Hopi Indians. One day we are allowed to take part in the traditional cooking class with one of the last, who collects and prepares his ingredients exclusively in the old-fashioned way. We feel that this is something very special, which will not be around for long, this work is too laborious and time-consuming, only a few still have the opportunity today. After a blessing closing ceremony and a give-away festival, our journey continues to the only place in the USA where 4 states meet: "The Four Corner" - Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
From there we drive to the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, the only national park in the USA that has not only been declared a protected park because of its breathtaking landscape, but much more because of its well-preserved buildings by the Ancestor Puebloans (formerly Anasazi Indians). They are the ancestors of the Hopi, Pueblo and Ute Indians and left there hundreds of rock structures, some of which are still in very good condition, small towns that could accommodate up to 350 people. Rangers take us on a guided hike to the rock dwellings.
A short detour takes us the next morning to a typical, small American breakfast bar in the farmer's area, we enjoy breakfast burritos, large ones with vegetables, scrambled eggs, beans and various Mexican sauces, filled pancakes made from tortilla flour.
Cortez is the best starting point to get a taste of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We drive through game-rich hunting areas, past well-stocked Indian shops that exclusively sell hand-made, authentic Indian cultural assets and reach another highlight of our trip. The hot sulfur springs at Wolf Creek. Today a small spa area has emerged there, where the Ute Indians and their ancestors used the healing water for their purification ceremonies thousands of years ago.
For two days they become our home - pure enjoyment and relaxation on all levels. If you like, you are cordially invited to take a ride in the Rocky Mountains and get to know the special Southwest kitchen of the region, the influences of Indian, Mexican and American through a cooking class on an organic farm in the mountains, with exclusively organically grown ingredients Kitchen.
The last stage of our trip leads to the deep south of Arizona, the land of the various Apache tribes - in the middle of the Sonoran Desert we visit the Arizona Desert Museum and drive for two days to Fred Rai's ranch, near Tombstone, the most legendary western town in North America , where we can still experience the life of that time today. Old stagecoaches drive on the streets of the city, shootings can be heard, the dissolute life in the saloons begins to inspire us, Wyatt Earp and Geronimo seem to be close to us. One last time we sit by the campfire under the starry sky of the desert and say goodbye to a very special trip to the legendary southwest of the USA with an American barbecue. Definitely, we will come again someday ...
If this text has made you curious about more and you would like to accompany me on my travels, I cordially invite you to do so!
A'che'che - Dear travelers,
the travel arrangement is provisional, program changes are possible, as I will discuss things with my Indian friends individually. It was you who asked me on my many trips to the Southwest of the USA to get to know interested people and bring them into their lives. We are your guests. Mitakuye Oyasin - We are all related to each other, humans and animals, the clouds, minerals ...
The travel costs depend on the number of our fellow travelers, they amount to approx. 4600 euros and include return flights, rental cars, German-speaking tour guides, helicopter sightseeing flights, overnight stays in the Hogan, hotels and motels, all activities and excursions with the Indians, Ceremonies, apart from personal healing ceremonies, museum and national park admissions, cooking class, Indian food in the reserves, barbeque, meeting with our tour group in Augsburg after the trip with 6-course Indian menu and slide show. Slight deviations from the travel price are possible.
Travel date by arrangement: between August and October 2011, individual arrangements are possible for existing groups of 6 - 8 people.
Please register by April 30, 2011 - later registration is possible, but the trip will then be more expensive.
Wherever i go
I am surrounded by harmony
as far as I can see
the earth spreads its beauty before me.
Caroline Klaus, Vohenburgerstr. 22, 86156 Augsburg,
Mobile: 0179 730 2046
Email: [email protected]
Source, text and images: Caroline Klaus
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