Long House of Mesa Verde National Park encompasses 21 kivas with 150 rooms on three different levels. It is the second largest cliff dwelling in the park and it has a good seep spring that provided water for up to 200 people.
During our visit to Mesa Verde Park, we secured a tour of Long House. As we prepared to head down the trail, the park ranger informed us that there was a Native American, with his family, who was heading down to pay tribute to his ancestors. The ranger reminded our group that we were guests in this scared location and that we needed to show respect to this family as they paid tribute. We started down the steep trail to the Long House, Once there we were able to climb up into the second floor by scrambling up wooden ladders.
Exploring this floor of the dwelling allowed us to see the seep spring and many rooms that were used in 1100CE. As we proceeded to the far end of the second floor our ranger quietly passed the word for all to stand quietly. As we did, we heard beautiful flute music being played by the father of the Native American family. Silence by all as the beautiful music floated up through the many rooms of Long House. It was an incredible experience.
After we finished our tour of Long House, our family hiked back up the trail to the trailhead. We decided to have our lunch. As we ate, the Native American flute player joined another park ranger at a picnic table near us. We discovered his name was Daniel of the Winter Clan. He, his wife and his two young daughters came to pay tribute to his ancestors. Our grandchildren were able to meet Daniel. He explained to them that part of his tribute included eagle feathers and bear fur, which he allowed the kids to touch. It was a very moving experience for all of us, no matter our age, we were very honored to meet Daniel of the Winter Clan and to help pay tribute to his ancestors. We will forever remember his tribute to his ancestors.
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