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At the greatest of cliff cities (Mesa Verde) the people began to build a temple to the sun. It sat upon a crown of the mesa between valley and sky. Using the skin-colored stone of the place, they quarried and shaped their blocks and raised their walls in expert masonry. The temple contained many rooms. The largest was a round one in the center. Little junipers whose shape echoed the pull of the wind grew all about the temple. Close to its doors the mesa's cliffs swept away to the valley floor far below.

Implements were made in the ceremonial chambers to be used on the day of the group prayer which was held in the plaza of the town. All persons, young and old, worked toward the day. Men and women could not lie together for a certain period before it. Only certain foods might be eaten. For several days before, those who were going to take part made sure to vomit many times a day. The dancing ground was swept clean. If there was any refuse about the houses it was taken away. Thoughts were put in order too.

The mountains were holy places; temples standing forever which held up the sky. Gods lived in them, and other supernaturals. The priests of the people went to the mountains to call upon the deities of the four points of the compass. The various pueblo groups identified their sacred mountains differently. For one of them, the northern one was Truchas Peak; the eastern one was the Lake Peak of the Santa Fe range; the southern one was the Sandia range, which they called Okupinn, turtle mountain; the western one was Santa Clara Peak of the Jemez range, which they called the mountain covered with obsidian.

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Grumman F4F Wildcat Aces of WWII


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