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Kiva, Balcony House
Kiva is a Hopi word for ceremonial room. The kiva at Mesa Verde were underground chambers that may be compared to churches of later times. Based upon modern Pueblo practices, Ancestral Puebloans may have used these rooms to conduct healing rites or to pray for rain, luck in hunting, or good crops. Kivas also serve as gathering places, and sometimes as a place to weave. A roof of beams and mud covered each kiva, supported by pilasters. Access was by ladder through a hole in the center of the roof. The small hole in the floor is a sipapu, the symbolic entrance to the underworld.
Photos from a 2 week vist to Utah, Colorado and Arizona in September to October. During the trip I visited Salt Lake City, Utah; Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake; Mount Timpanogos; Dinosaur National Monument and Mesa Verde.