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The Red Road in Crestone.


Behind the backdrop of the myriad of religious institutions in Crestone, Colorado you will find a red road, an indigenous path that leads to a humble sweat lodge or tipi.

For very simple reasons you won’t find any street signs pointing the way to the few Native American Traditions that reside here in Crestone.

There is a mind set, a philosophy that rests behind our reasoning in all of this, a reasoning that has always been here.

People didn’t just throw things around.

They took care of everything for the future, for everyone.
Some of the larger, unmovable stones near the creeks are for processing sumac seeds.

It is comical to note that they have been thought of as meditation seats.

The sumac seeds, ground and hulled, make a delicious orange colored desert-like porridge called chilth-chin.

My grandfather always steeps them first over night to make what he calls Kool-Aid.
There are some chilth-chin shrubs across from the information kiosk.

These plants were carefully cared for.

Grinding was accompanied by drumming and song which was performed by children.

Sometimes when I put my hand on a grinder to feel its smoothness I can almost hear those old songs.
A pile of broken and burnt grinding stones are from sweat lodges.

You will find those rocks neatly stacked for later use.

You would never know that annually there were tens of thousands of people here.

Tools were always replaced when broken.

Things were always put back in their proper places without expectations.