Stress, violence, and warfare among the prehistoric Pueblos are subjects of intense interest to many groups of people. This is the first study to focus on the interpretation of rock art and inparticular the symbolism and ideology of Pueblo warfare. This book brings together as a single topic the rich body of ancestral Pueblo iconography related to conflict. The warfare imagery is a hitherto unexplored source of the ideas behind Pueblo conflict, the power symbols it generated, and how warfare was integrated with Pueblo cosmology.
The rock art and kiva murals of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico depicted in this book incorporate two hundred of the most dramatic images in Pueblo graphic art, many in full color. Large shields with a variety of designs are prominently displayed at cliff dwellings in Canyon de Chelley and other sites before A.D. 1300. In the centuries to follow there is a virtual explosion in complexity and content of the imagery including warriors, weapons, warrior kachinas, animal war patrons, and star supernaturals.
The art indicates that organized warrior societies and the kachina cult came into being at this time, and that warring activities were integrated with control of the sun and rainmaking cults that sought to ensure agricultural success. The concluding chapter relates ancient war symbols to modern Pueblo war societies.
Brilliantly researched, this landmark book can claim not only to be the first in-depth interpretation of Pueblo rock art as relates to warfare, but of rock art in the Southwest in general.
Whether you are a scholar or avid amateur, this groundbreaking and highly readable book will be the most important addition to your rock-art library. This volume is lavishly illustrated with 165 black and white photos, drawings and maps, and 16 pages in full color.
Polly Schaafsma is a leading rock art scholar and author. She is a Research Associate, Laboratory of Anthropology/Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her research, published papers, and many books include Indian Rock Art of the Southwest, Kachinas in the Pueblo World, Rock Art in New Mexico, and Rock Art of Utah. Schaafsma's lectures on the rock art of the Southwest have gained her recognition as the leading authority on the subject and a large following.