"Mountains are the homes of our gods, rock formations our shrines."

—Conroy Chino


This series of regional paintings depicts only a few of the numerous sacred sites of indigenous Native American tribes living in the Southwestern United States. Patricia Waldygo traveled to each site in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado before painting it. Some were on Indian reservations, others on land that is now publicly owned.

The sacred sites oil paintings included in this online gallery / slide show are:

1. Buffalo Mountain, now on public land near Waldo, New Mexico; the mountain is considered sacred by the Santo Domingo Pueblo.
2. Spider Rock (home of Spider Woman) in Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.
3. Corn Mountain (Dowa’ Yallane’) at Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico.
4. Hesperus Peak, Mount Hesperus (known as Dibé Nitsaa - Big Mountain Sheep; ceremonial name is Bááshzhinii Dzil - Jet Mountain), in the La Plata Mountains near Durango, Coplorado; one of the four sacred Navajo mountains (North).
5. Shiprock (Tsébit’a’—“The Great Rock with Wings”), Navajo reservation, New Mexico; on top of which the Navajo culture hero Monster Slayer killed the evil Monster Bird.
6. Blanca Peak, Colorado; one of the four sacred Navajo mountains (East), in Colorado.
7. San Francisco Peaks, near Flagstaff, Arizona; one of the four sacred Navajo mountains (West).
8. The Sacred Pools of Sedona (Seven Sacred Pools), Northeastern Yavapai tribe in Arizona.
9. Sleeping Ute Mountain (Ute Mountain Ute tribe—Colorado); the Sleeping Ute is said to resemble a Ute Chief lying on his back with arms folded across his chest.
10. Wheeler Peak (Taos Pueblo—New Mexico)
11. Mount Taylor (Tse’-pina/Kaweshtima, “The Woman Veiled in Clouds”), New Mexico: one of the four sacred Navajo mountains (South); also sacred to Laguna Pueblo. And the Anasazi (whom the Navajo called “the Ancient Ones”) regarded Mt. Taylor as sacred.
12. Nambe Falls (Nambe Pueblo—New Mexico); According to some Nambe Pueblo residents, because this site is open to the public, it is not considered sacred any more; however, another tribal source said that religious ceremonies are still held there. The legend connected with the waterfall is that Nambe Falls was created by the tears of an Indian maiden grieving for her lover lost in battle.

(Keywords: artists who paint sacred sites, artists who paint Southwestern landscapes, artists who paint the Four Corners region, artists who paint New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado landscapes.)

Now in print as a soft-cover book by Sunbury Press for $19.95: Sacred Sites of Native Americans of the Southwest.

For information, click here.