WOODSTOCK – Annella Burnham of the Woodstock Historical Society presented a program for members on Canyon de Chelly, the center of the Navajo Reservation, which she visited on her trip out West. It was the birthplace of the Navajo Nation.

She said they were preceded by the Anasazi, who lived in what are now ruins on the cliffs. They raised crops on the canyon floor, where there was a good source of water. Formations were the White House Ruins, where the gods were supposedly at home along with many people.

The Navajo planted crops and raised sheep and goats brought by the Spaniards for meat and wool to weave into blankets, which they now sell. Sometimes in winter they move to the canyon rim where wood for fires is located.

The Navajos hid on Fortress Rock from Kit Carson’s forces until they ran out of water and were moved elsewhere. But they returned permanently in 1868. Some have moved away, but some often return.

The society held a board of trustees meeting when Curator Larry Billings reported an exhibit on the Bryant family will be on display at 7 p.m. the day of the bicentennial.

At the meeting it was also mentioned that Jeff Howe won the Easter basket and $100 profit was realized. Mary Billings and Elena Noyes provided refreshments.

The Saturday, May 14, meeting will once again be at the museum and feature the sculpture of Gil Whitman.


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