Four Corners Lecture Series

Who: Dr. Benjamin Bellorado

What: Sandal Tracks and Social Identities in the Mesa Verde Region and Beyond

For millennia, Ancestral Pueblo people used sandals made of yucca to traverse the canyons and mesas of the Mesa Verde Region. Over generations, distinctive sandal varieties developed for use by certain social groups and individuals with specific social positions. Some styles were easy to make while others required great investments of labor and technical skill to produce. When worn, each of these sandal types left distinct tracks that would have identified their wearers identities and their movements across the landscape. Particularly during the Chaco era (AD 850–1150) and post-Chaco eras (AD 1150–1300) the fanciest variety of footwear, twined sandals, became associated with elites, the social groups that they belonged to, and to Chaco-style great house communities across the San Juan River Drainage. The presence of these styles in what is now southwestern Colorado reveals social ties and connections with Chaco Canyon, the Aztec Ruins Complex, the Canyon de Chelly area, and other far-flung parts of the region. This presentation outlines recent research on Ancestral Pueblo footwear traditions and explores the ways that sandals both connected and separated social groups across the San Juan River Drainage over time and space in ways never before explored by archaeologists.

When: July 12, 2023  |  4-5 pm

Where: Zoom: Register to get the zoom link!

This event is now only being offered on Zoom due to ongoing construction at the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center. Thank you for understanding!