From the earliest times, people have enjoyed the long-term benefits of volcanic eruptions. People journeyed long distances to volcanic areas to gather materials for their daily lives, including important minerals, raw materials like obsidian for tools, and building supplies. And always, in return for these benefits, people have paid a high short-term price in the form of volcanic disasters.
Our culture influences how we forecast events, choose to prepare and adapt to catastrophes, and how we explain our world and its phenomena. Some of us look to science, some to religion, and some to traditional knowledge. It is not surprising that worldwide, when people live near volcanoes, they often develop related rituals and belief systems. This eruption was a significant event in the lives of the native peoples of the Southwest, and today all of the region’s American Indian groups consider this a scared landscape.