Behold the Rio Grande deep inside its canyon! I shot this video a couple of weeks ago at the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument a few miles north of Pilar, where Native hunters used to camp. I love that I can learn these things and see the ground right there. The thing about the West is that it’s so huge, it hasn’t all been physically altered by development. One can actually find these places where the present and the past are side-by-side, sharing the same space.
Back in Maryland where we used to live, a utility company on the Eastern Shore accidentally dug up a several thousand-year-old burial site, complete with stone tools and copper jewelry. Everyone was amazed and mystified: it was as if the ancient chief or shaman had fallen down from outer space. There was a picture in the paper, and then we all forgot about it. No one is to blame here, it’s just how humans are.
I had a friend there, now deceased, who understood the history quite well, however. He knew where to look along the tidal rivers and recovered many artifacts whenever unusually low tides revealed old sandbars, oyster middens, and the like. I made rubber molds of some of them, including arrowheads, a broken axe head, and something called a banner stone, so I could make wax copies and eventually cast these things in bronze. I still have most of them, because they never sold!