Anasazi: The Chaco Canyon Collection, Part 1 - The Call of Chaco: Dreamcatcher

As photographers we have all experienced our version of “writer’s block.” During the summer of 2010 I was in a creative slump and was desperate for something new to photograph. Then I came across a few documentaries about the ancient people of the American Southwest. I became enthralled with the subject and so the following winter I was in Southeastern Utah photographing the Anasazi ruins in Mule Canyon. Further research led to an overwhelming desire to photograph the very heart of ancient America, Chaco Canyon.

Anasazi is the name given by the Navajo to the earliest known inhabitants of North America. We have no idea what these people called themselves, and since they had no written language we will probably never know. And, contrary to popular belief the Anasazi did not simply “vanish”. Evidence suggests that they abandoned their magnificent cliff dwellings and cities because of drought, political strife, the collapse of open farming, economic instability and conflicts with other tribes. The Anasazi were assimilated into other tribal cultures and their descendants are still with us today.

The following year in 2011 I made a return trip to Enchanted Rock, my favorite place to photograph in Texas. During those 5 days, at night all I could think of was Chaco Canyon and imagined myself walking among the ruins and shooting from every conceivable vantage point. That was in April. Exactly one year later that imagined trip came to fruition.

In March of 2012 I contacted my best friend from high school to see if he wanted to come along. As it turned out Ronnie and his wife Sherisa, an excellent photographer in her own right, and whose images also grace this page, are avid fans of New Mexico and make semi-annual trips there. They too had wanted to visit Chaco, so on April 1, we set off on the 14 hour trip from their home in Fort Worth.

My sincere thanks to Ronald Roybal for allowing me the honor of using his song “Dream Catcher” from his brilliant CD “Skyfather’s Dream”. Ronald is a Native American flutist and classical guitarist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With his music these photographs convey a true spirit of this beautiful place. For more information about Ronald visit his website:
The site is very interactive with lots of media and ordering CDs & DVDs is easy.


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