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Mesa Verde Mysteries - The Most Asked Question

Mesa Verde Mysteries
Superintendent Cliff Spencer says the most asked question at Mesa Verde National Park is: Where did the cliff dwellers go?

Early writers suggested the Ancestral Puebloans vanished. They were wrong, but this mistake was repeated again and again in the literature until it became a myth. The truth is, the ancient people did not vanish. The Pueblo people of today say they left Mesa Verde, following the words of their Spider Grandmother who said to them: “You will go on long migrations. You will build villages and abandon them for new migrations.”

And so they migrated. When the ancient people left Mesa Verde they moved south and east. Many moved to the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. They built huge pueblo towns and their descendants still live there today. Others moved south into Arizona and still later even further south into what is now Northern Mexico. Today there are 20 pueblos, all but one are in New Mexico, with the Hopi in Arizona. You can visit these pueblos today and meet the descendants of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellers face-to-face.

Why is this important? The pueblo people of today are the stewards of their ancient past. They have much to teach us about their ancestors who inhabited the magnificent cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.  They are the living link into the distant past.