Balcony House, Mesa Verde National Park

Balcony House is the most challenging cliff dwelling tour at Mesa Verde but it is also the most intimate. Named after the remnants of a dwelling balcony, this small site provides insight to Anasazi community life. The balconies and rooftops, made of logs rather than adobe, were a place of work and play. Kivas, built below ground, were an important gathering place for each family clan and their flat rooftops functioned much like our town squares.

Cliff Palace Loop Road, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado 81330 | Website

Hopi Legend and the Sipapu

The sipapu, a small hole or indentation in the floor of Anasazi and modern-day Puebloan kivas, represents the passageway used by the ancient ancestors to emerge from the previous world. Like the biblical story Noah's Ark, Hopi legend suggests that the last world was destroyed by a great flood. Spider Grandmother, a goddess in Hopi myth, sealed the righteous into hollow reeds saving them from destruction. The ancient ancestors floated for a long time and used islands as stepping stone. When they reached a mountainous wall the ancient ancestors climbed up to a new world.


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