The Dreamwalker Trilogy takes place in the area of what is now called Verde Valley in northern Arizona.This particular picture shows the amazing Montezuma Castle National Monument. The five-story dwellings tower above the valley floor along Beaver Creek. Montezuma was the last Aztec emperor and has nothing to do with these Sinagua cliff dwellings, however, Spanish explorers who came upon these stone edifices erroneously named them.
These ancient people left their earthen homes and created dwellings
and ledges in the limestone and sandstone cliffs that towered
above the creeks and rivers.
Others built above-ground masonry pueblos--as large as seventy
rooms. In the fertile valley or on the mesa top they became farmers and
grew crops of beans, corn, squash, and cotton. They hunted large and
small game and gathered nuts, berries, and other edible plants such as
yucca and prickly pear cactus. They were potters, basket makers, and weavers.
Rainfall could mean life or death for
these Ancient Puebloans and so they created rituals and ceremonies to ensure a connection to nature, hoping for good crops and prosperity. The particular group of
Ancient Puebloans used as inspiration for The Dreamwalker Trilogy were named"Sinagua" from the term used to describe the San Francisco Peaks: Sierra Sin Agua or "Mountains Without Water." This is not the name given by Native American people who continue to live in this area.
Native American cultures, medicine men and women shared their sacred
those who showed promise and were willing to learn the rituals,
ceremonies, songs, and healing plants. The Healing Ones learned the
importance of healing the mind, body, and spirit of
We know about the Sinagua because of their artifacts that have survived for hundreds of years: pottery, tools, baskets, jewelry, sandals and cloth, in addition to their cliff dwellings and pueblos.From these, archeologists and anthropologists have pieced together aspects of the ancient lifestyles. So what happened to these Ancient Puebloans? No one knows for sure, but it is believed they may have left their homes due to climate changes (like drought) and gathered together in larger pueblos. The overuse of the natural resources, sickness, disease, continued drought, or a combination of all these factors could have decimated the population. Were the Sinagua ancestors of the Hopi? Possibly. Hopi are one group of Pueblo People who have lived in the three mesas area of northern Arizona for over a thousand years and may look upon these ancient ones as ancestors, however, they do not recognize the various names archeologists have given these ancestral puebloans.
In the Dreamwalker Trilogy, Bright
Star/Dreamwalker visited other clans who built their homes in the cliffs
along Beaver Creek in the Verde River Valley. This is one of many cliff
dwellings that still exist along Beaver Creek.
If you are interested in finding out more about the
Ancient Puebloans, try these links below. Good hunting!