Canyon Mysteries

During my years as a river guide, I spent a lot of time in the Grand Canyon where we found some intriguing split twig figurines in caves along the river’s canyon walls. Archaeologists think that these little animal-like effigies were used in preparation for a hunt sort of like an offering to the hunting gods since they were found on small altars in caves with prehistoric animal skeletons on the floor. These caves were mostly found in very high, nearly inaccessible areas so the animals were thought to have been brought to the site by giant raptors or giant condors as whole animals. The warriors would then choose to pay homage to these great natural hunters by building altars within their ancestral nests.

Carbon dating puts the age of the woven figures at approximately 2000 B.C. which would place them in the early to mid Basket Maker Culture. Since this time period was before the bow and arrow, spears were used for hunting. The spears would be mounted in a device called an atlatl and then thrown up to 150 yards. With miniature spear heads found within the animal effigies, it seems that the Canyon has given us at least a glimpse into the life and mysteries of its ancient peoples.

Limited Edition of only 40.

H:42” • W: 11” • D: 11"

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