Day 4: Kayenta to Page

The next day, we drove west from kayenta, to the navajo national monument, which despite its name is a national park that contains more anasazi ruins, these ones, called betatakin (which means "ledge House" in the navajo language). It is one of best preserved of all of the anasazi sites, since the cliff hangs so far over the ancient village that the wind and rain did not damage it.

The Tseyi Valley, where Betatakin is found, is also very beautiful. When the ancestors of the Navajo arrived in the southwestern United States, in the sixteenth century, they found that the Anasazi and Sinagua and other peoples had joined together as the Hopi. Relations were sometimes conflicted, but at other times cooperative, and the Navajo gradually adopted the Hopi's settled way of life, building permanent dwellings and raising sheep (which had been imported into the region by the Spanish). Those groups that did not settle down and remained nomadic became the Apache.

Note to Albertans (and others): the ancestors of both the Navajo and the Apache had migrated from northern Alberta and the southern part of the Northwest Territories. So they speak Athabaskan languages, and refer to themselves as the Dine (just as the athabaskans call themselves the Dene). the Navajo have many traditions shared by the native peoples of northern Canada. For example, they build sweat lodges, such as the ones we saw here in Navajo National Monument.

From Navajo National Monument, we continued west to the town of Page, at the southern edge of Lake Powell.

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