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You may have noticed a lot of circles in the rock art recorded at Montezuma Creek. Circular shapes and spirals often represent places and stories of migrations — where "our people" have come from.

We learn a lot about what these repeated shapes may mean from talking with modern-day descendants of ancient Pueblo peoples. Hopi Indians, for example, still carry on many of the oral traditions of their ancestors, and stories get passed down from generation to generation. Today Hopi women use the spiral symbol in weaving traditional baskets.

Did you discover all the different kinds of animal tracks shown in the drawing?

Some of the tracks have sharp claws similar to a bear, badger, or raccoon. According to Hopi Indians, bear tracks and badger tracks were, and are, important ancestral "clan" symbols of Pueblo peoples.

The tracks may represent ancient peoples who belonged to the Bear and Badger clans.

Can you find tracks with three claws resembling the track of a bird?

If you look closely you will find many of these tracks. Birds were also an important part of ancient Pueblo mythology. The tracks may represent the Crow, Crane, Eagle, or Hawk ancestral clans. The cross was sometimes used to indicate the four cardinal directions.

So, if you first thought that the drawing looked like a map, you may be closer to the Hopi understanding of the ancient site. Generations of different Pueblo clans appear to have recorded their movements and migrations at this special place.

Repeated circles


Tracks with claws

More sharp claws

Three claws

Circles, cross, tracks