Friday, June 29, 2007


Last night, around a backyard fire, I learned from a very wise man that Pikes Peak used to be called Sun Mountain by the Utes. A little research revealed this to be true. I think I'm going to start calling Pikes Peak "Tava" from now on... maybe it could take hold the way Denali has in Alaska. There's something about it that is sacred, yet it is often so hard to feel amidst the swarm of humanity in its shadow.

From the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum in Florissant:

10,000 YEARS AGO
Archaic tools and arrowheads found during the archaeological survey of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in 1974 place human beings in the area about 10,000 years ago. Ute Indians say these are their ancestors. The Ute have no migration story, but instead cite a legend wherein Creator made their nation on Pikes Peak. For thousands of years, they perform ceremonies on this sacred mountain which they call “Tava” (meaning sun in their dialect of the Aztec language). The band of Ute Indians in the Pikes Peak region takes its name from this mountain, calling themselves “Tabeguache” (The People of Sun Mountain). They are one of ten bands of the Ute Nation, whose ancestral lands include all of Colorado, Utah, and northern New Mexico.

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