Mission Trail – Marker 5

Pecos Ceremonial Room

Pecos Mission trail at the Pecos National Historical Park

Climb down the ladder into this reconstructed kiva, a place where Pecos people performed rituals to insure their well-being.  Each kiva society conducted different kinds of ceremonies, for example to increase game, insure a successful hunt or harvest, or to cure the sick.  Rows of loom anchors (twig loops embedded in kiva floors) show that kivas were also workrooms, where men wove the kilts and sashes worn by dancers.

Pecos National Historical Park - Mission Trail - Kiva interior view

Pecos Pueblo has more than 20 kivas.  They share some similar features:

(A) an entryway through the roof which also served as a chimney;

(B) a ventilator shaft to conduct fresh air into the room;

(C) a deflector to shield the fire from drafts;

(D) a fire pit;

(E) and a sipapu – a small hole symbolizing the Pueblo people’s emergence from the underworld in their beginning.

Many Pueblo people regard the kiva as a model of their universe, with the sipapu representing the below, the kiva floor symbolizing this world, and the roof entry representing the above.

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