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A Possible Kiva

19_pic.jpg Roof BeamsThumbnailsWupatki Pueblo and Surrounding Features

This room, on the southeastern corner of the pueblo, is one of the largest in the village, yet no household tools or utensils were found inside. This suggests it was a special space, perhaps a ceremonial room known as a kiva. However, a kiva would have a single bench on the north side of the room. There is no record of this, but early excavations may have missed such a feature. In a village this size, one or two kivas would have been expected. They may have been used for the private aspects of ritual, while the larger, open community room served public ceremonies.

Today, rectangular clan kivas persist in Hopi villages, while larger, round community kivas endure in the eastern Pueblos. Kivas are an integral part of Puebloan society and remain a cultural trait that can be traced from past to present.

Compare the possible kiva to the room to the left. Note the size difference? The inset shows the interior hearth (firepit) and deflector.

Meghann M. Vance, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories
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