Two thousand years ago, high in the plateau country where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet, a unique civilization emerged. These people are now known as the Anasazi. Their way of life flourished for some 1400 years before they moved on. Hundreds of great stone cities remained, built on mesa tops, high valleys and tucked in caves carved out of canyon walls by wind and rain. Proof of their highly developed intellect was discovered in 1977. Evidence was found on one mesa which demonstrated that the Anasazi are the only prehistoric people in the world who precisely measured not only the winter and summer solstice but also the 19 year progression of the Moon.
These original Arizonans were hard-working and peace-loving people with great inner strength. Visualizing these ruins consisting of 4 and 5 story buildings, constructed with carved stone using primitive tools, we can feel the energy, dedication and sense of cooperation they must have had to accomplish such feats. To complete this construction required an intelligent and sophisticated organization. Although other civilizations in Mexico and South America built large structures, most of these were devoted to worship rather than housing and permanence. The Anasazi were determined to have a society based on the family unit, living in communities. They were not nomadic or warlike in their thinking. They were not obsessed with building temples to worship. Their way of life was based on a religion which was founded on peaceful coexistence with nature and the universe.
In addition to architectural triumphs by the Anasazi, they left behind the legacy of refined art. Their designs reflect highly developed and sensitive forms which are graceful and contemporary in today’s style. It is difficult to visualize women and men sitting in their stone rooms designing and creating artifacts and handicrafts in a style which would survive centuries of change. They were truly a people dedicated to seeking beauty, harmony and peace.
In the hope that we, as Arizonans, will remember this wonderful and exciting heritage of a prior civilization, we have named this Village “The Anasazi.” To enhance this memory, Dennis Num-kena, a Hopi architect and descendant of the Anasazi, was inspired by his heritage to develop a unique architecture which captures the feeling of the world of “The Ancient Ones.” With his help, we have tried to plan for a way of life, dramatized by an architectural concept that is similar to the objectives of the Anasazi.