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Photographer's Note

. . . or a "ladder" to heaven?

This photo was taken from inside a kiva, the traditional sacred meeting place for most pueblo tribes of Native Americans. Kivas are round, and the only entrance is through the hole at the top and down the ladder. Sacred dances and rituals take place here as the people sit around the edges of the round space. Religious leaders and/or officiators stand below the people in the middle of the room, symbolizing their humility and their role as servants for the people (as opposed to dominating leaders).

There are two small holes in the floor, one large enough for the officiator of the rite, and another, the sepapu, only a few inches across, that represents the entrance to the Third World from which we came before it was destroyed because of wickedness. Now we reside in the Fourth World, according to most American Indian tribes, and if we persist in our wickedness, it too will be destroyed.

Today, if you hear an Indian story or do a simply Indian game or task, you will find that most things happen in sets of four because of this belief that this is the Fourth World.

Christian nations usually do things, in comparison, in threes, perhaps because of a belief in the Holy Trinity. So in caucasian-based U.S. or Europe, we might count to three before jumping over a small stream. Indians would probably count to four before jumping.

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . GO!

Photo Information
  • Copyright: David Sidwell (dsidwell) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2294 W: 168 N: 1911] (9783)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2005-05-00
  • Categories: Ruins
  • Camera: Sony DSC-f828, UV
  • Exposure: f/6.0
  • Details: Tripod: Yes
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2006-06-11 13:36
  • Favorites: 2 [view]
Viewed: 3532
Points: 90
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