- Published: Monday, 04 May 2015 10:00
- Written by Dan
Legend of the Legend People
Dispatch by Simon Vaughan
Intro Photo by Jimmy Martinello
From Bryce Canyon National Park’s Yovimpa Point it’s possible to gaze across at the spectacular Grand Staircase of sedimentary rock layers, and observe over 600 million years of Earth history. But in a world that struggles to remember an age before the Internet, it takes a bit longer to process exactly what that means.
600 million years!
Not only was there no email back then, but the ozone layer was the very latest in cutting edge technology and fungi was merely a figment of the most hyperactive multicellular organism’s imagination!
It wasn’t until approximately 10,000 years ago that the first people set foot in the greater Bryce Canyon area. Archaeologists have determined that few if any of those first peoples actually lived there; rather, they used it as their hunting and gathering grounds, passed through on their way to other destinations or possibly stopped by to sketch a few rock drawings of hoodoos to send home to their friends.
More than 9,000 years later, the Paiute people ventured into the Bryce Canyon area following in the footsteps of the Fremont and Anasazi peoples. The region’s harsh winters also prevented them from settling, but the Paiute told stories of the Legend People who had indeed lived in Bryce Canyon. They were not actually people at all and were so bad that coyote turned the Legend People into stone known to the Paiute as Angka-ku-wass-a-witts, the Red Painted Faces, more commonly known today as the hoodoos.
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