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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For indigenous peoples in the Southwest, sacred geographies are bound up with histories, religious practices, and cosmologies. Axis mundi and memory anchors create connections across spatial and temporal realities. High places (peaks, mesas) are the home of mythic beings or entry points into a world above. Openings in the earth (canyons, springs) lead to a world below. Special places demarcate cosmologies on current (Tewa) and ancient (Chaco Canyon) landscapes. Sacred geographies are marked by shrines, rock art, votive deposits, trails, alignments, and archaeological sites. Pilgrimages are undertaken to natural and archaeological memory anchors and axis mundi. Sacred places are increasingly threatened by groups with divergent interests.

Keywords: Southwest, axis mundi, landscape, cosmology, pilgrimage, Chaco

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