The Canyon De Chelly is a land full of myth and legend and is also a national monument of Native Indian culture in the midst of today’s Navajo reservation.
Archaeologists have discovered that the deep, rocky valleys of this region were first inhabited by Native Indian tribes around 1,000 years ago. The canyon offered natural protection against hostile attack and during the dry months of summer, provided a good supply of water.
Today, numerous impressive cliff dwellings indicate the golden cultural period of the famous historic Indians, the Anasazi. Around 400 years after the sudden and mysterious disappearance of the Anasazi, their ancient dwellings were occupied by the Navajo. However, the tranquil atmosphere of the canyon did not last forever, as it was once the scene of various bloody battles between the Navajo and the Spanish.
The White House is one of the most famous cliff dwellings and archaeological sites in the Canyon De Chelly and is open to the public. Various impressive petroglyphs have been found close to such settlements and many of these rock paintings date back to the time of the Anasazi.
Few regions in the United States manage to unite both Native Indian history and culture with a natural landscape, such as that of the Canyon De Chelly.