After traveling through the scenic Apache Mountains including the dramatic elevation changes around the Salt River Canyon, we took a side road with a stop at Fort Apache and the Kinishba Ruins.  Fort Apache was an Army post from 1870-1922.  In 1922 its facilities were transferred to the Bureau of Indian Affairs which opened the Theodore Roosevelt Indian Boarding School in 1923.  Fort Apache, located in the center of the White Mountain Apache people’s homeland, was established at the confluence of the north and east forks of the White River.  At the White Mountain Apache Cultural Center and Museum, we learned about their creation story.  Also of note was the exhibit that described the four-day ritual when a girl becomes a woman.  We took a short walk to view some of the historic district buildings.  The fireplace chimney of one building has an unusual feature, a large window in the middle of the second story.

Kinishba Ruins

Kinishba Ruins

Kinishba Ruins, located four miles west of Fort Apache, is a National Historic Landmark.  Hopi  and Zuni people are said to have lived in the village from 1200 to 1400.  The site was excavated and partly reconstructed in the 1930s.  Kinishba had arable land and a nearby spring.  It housed between 400-800 occupants in about 600 ground-floor rooms.  The village was made up of two main room blocks, one of which stood three stories tall.  A bench circled the largest plaza that served as a center for community life.  Other Pueblo groups lived 20-40 miles to the south, west, and north.  We appreciated the opportunity to visit the Kinishba Ruins and experience its sacred space.

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