In northwestern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, in the now desolate deserts there are ruins of a cultural people’s construction work, which today can be counted as a single remarkable building art. Once many centuries ago, this desert land was covered with magnificent cities, and the people themselves stood in civilization high above the country’s current inhabitants. Remnants of these cities, which with their ruins of towers and spiers form a very characteristic architecture, lie like Egypt’s ancient memories partly buried in desert sand or are the same swallows placed high up between the Colorado’s most inaccessible caons. Between rocks, consisting of marble, granite and limestone, which during the millennium has been broken through and undermined by the mighty Colorado river, 150 whose power in strength and untamed fury surely seeks its equal throughout the world, hanging these buildings, staggering in painterly ache with nature’s amazing building art.
Their age goes back long before America’s discovery, and their builder belongs to the so-called Moquis tribe, which, like the Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, might have been the same people as the Mexicans at the time of the conquest through Cortez.
Their buildings resemble the shape of Egypt’s pyramids: but while these served to satisfy royal vanity – a giant shell of stone enclosing a sarcophagus – the American pyramids were meant to house a city with a living pulsating life. The buildings were erected by a kind of sun-dried brick or stone several feet thick, and the floors were raised amphitheatrically upward, resting on a square base of up to three hundred feet in length, thus, that the gulf of the upper floor formed the lower floor’s roof alongside the terrace or platform of the upper floor. .
Thus, it is continued upwardly with each floor slightly smaller than that below it until it is finished as a cut-off pyramid. On the platform up here were towers and spiers erected, where sign guards were posted and from where one had a great view over the night. IN 151 the lower floors, there were no doors to the façade, only small windows made of selenite or crystallized plaster, which remained in the leaves.
The pyramids were hollow. In the middle a courtyard lowered, where the water reservoir was placed.
Even in the courtyard there were windows and doors, but between the outer rooms and the courtyards were large dark storage rooms, all connected by passages and corridors.
The communication means were extremely peculiar. In all this huge building complex fans not a single staircase. You only used ladders, a certain number for each terrace.
These ladders were designed as fall ropes and could be erected at any time and thereby prevent unauthorized access. If you were to enter the courtyard from the outside of the pyramid, you first had to climb the ladder to the first floor and from there through a hatch in the terrace creep down for another ladder.
The hatches also served as a smoke trap for the hearth, which was usually located in the same room where the slots were located. Or also used such rooms for kitchens, sofas, or for pre-grinding grain.
In the building fans temple, which also served as ward and parlor room and to – bathroom. This joint was called 152 Estufa. It could either be very circular or about fifty feet square. It was usually built in the courtyard, half underground, with a steeply sloping roof over; in quite a lot its interior reminded us of our Nordic holiday cottages. Benches were running along the darkened, dark brown walls, and in the middle was a huge hearth, on which burnt scented herbs. The walls were painted in heavy contours, depicting images of plants and birds, foxes and wolves, sometimes warlike images. There were complete fresco paintings, made in white, brown, blue and especially red colors, so strong that the smoke and time could hardly destroy them.
One wall was sanctified by the sun god. There were sun and moon images in the form of circles that broke through half-circles and elipses, which meant clouds; but everywhere the flash lighted up, painted in mighty zigzag lines with arrowheads in bright colors.
Forced human figures, which ended the table, represented the sun god’s adjutants, who, with long trumpets for the mouth, called for righteousness.
In the estufan, the people of the pyramid gathered in the spring to pray for song during singing, and after fortunate warfare, they celebrated their thanksgiving parties there.
This people, which in ancient times was counted 153 hundreds of thousands, disappearing more and more, its buildings are all in ruins, with the exception of the one who is still inhabited, and whose inhabitants with unwavering tenacity hold onto the inherited traditions and practices despite external pressure.
Their religious beliefs are peculiar. Every morning the members of the moquis rise up on the terraces, turn to the east in knee-bending position and worship the sun.
While this ceremony is in progress, many of the village’s men at the foot of the rock have embraced themselves with bags, on which small bells are attached, and run as if it were life on unmanned roads to the east, the sun to meet, while the bells of the bells interfere with the noise of the river.
When they run a quarter of a mile, they turn around, where the population descends from their roofs and the ceremony is over.
God has once lived, among them, for centuries back, dressed in human form, among them, and at his death promised to return to them – from the sun.
In this faith they still live today. For centuries, every day, day after day, they have sent a deputation to receive him, should he come.
The descent of the Moquis knows no one: but among the rubble of this people they say 154 ancient greatness and power – including the story of nordic wilds, which transported them from their country out into Arizona’s desert plateaus and backwaters.
What is more, the hope of their earthly birth is related to their homes. The sooner these are destroyed by nature and fall into ruins, the former the sun god will come.
In a not too distant future, this tribe should be extinct. Only remains of their rare building art remain. But beyond that, the memory of this people will probably live in history – a people, before whose origins and lives one is wondering and questioning.