Barely visible, many symbols and ideas have been pecked into the rock cliffs.
To the right of the sun clock we see several groups of petroglyphs that appear to tell a story. Images of people, more spirals, stars, and some animals are pecked into the rock. The graphics are stylized- the bodies drawn trapezoidal or triangular, suggesting a large upper body with narrow hips and legs. (We saw this in Mystery Valley, also.). The horned beings, taken by many to be a shaman, are always present. Clyde says that some isolated images are clan marks.
To the right is "kokopelei" the flute player, a repeating motif in the Four Corners Area. The bird is thought to be a clan symbol.
Spirals and waves (left) - tales of migrations?
To the left of the sun clock are the remains of more old petroglyphs. The dark patina of age is slowly being eroded away from the bottom by the weather and time, but enough of the panel remains to see the many examples of the ancient artisans.
We spot some graffiti from more recent visitors and perhaps even from modern Hopi, but these markings are easily distinguished from the darkened, pecked grooves of the older messages. The old work appears to be grouped in specific and confined spaces within the park, as if they might be put in that spot for a specific reason. Why? Clyde offers no explanation or translation for the ancient murals, but allows us to walk among the stones and respectfully photograph the work.
Some of the past is gone forever in this deteriorating and weathered storyboard.
"We think that the spiral represents the number of years or cycles," Clyde finally offers, "and the wavy lines that often come out from the spirals may represent a migration. The height of the waves may represent the degree of difficulty encountered on the migration."
What story are these walls trying to tell? If someone still maintains the knowledge of translating them, will this skill soon vanish with the rest of the Hopi culture? In a moment of stark awareness, we face the reality of Hopi future. For a few awkward moments there is silence in Sun Park. We are not sure what Clyde feels. Is it hope for the future, or perhaps resignation that the ways of the past are weathering away with time? Before we can ask, Clyde motions us to return to the truck for the next destination- Awatovi, the oldest continuously inhabited village in North America.
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