More than 800 years ago, the Sinagua people built their
dwellings sheltered by overhanging cliffs in Walnut Canyon. The Sinagua, Spanish for “without water”,
survived by farming, hunting deer and small game, along with gathering plants
grown in the area and trading. They had
to gather water from the river below and trudge up the mountain with water on
their heads to their homes. It is
amazing how they survived throughout the harsh winters and summers while living
on the sheer cliffs. The thick walls and
the large overhanging cliffs kept them safe and warm. They would build fires in the center of each
room with a small hole at the top of the door for the smoke to vent. Some of the abodes served as living quarters
while other rooms are where they stored their food.
Today, we can follow a narrow path back to the past to get
an idea of how these incredible people survived so many centuries ago.