Celebrating Native Interpretations of "Rock Art" on the Gila National Forest

Author(s): Wendy Sutton

Year: 2016


Commonly known as “rock art,” pictographs (pigment on rock) and petroglyphs (images pecked or incised into rock) are much more than art. They reflect the history and values of peoples who once lived here and are a tangible reminder of their connection to the landscape. The Gila National Forest is installing interpretive signage at or near multiple well-known “rock art” sites in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). These signs, and additional web-based materials, celebrate Native interpretations and provide valuable guidance on how to treat “rock art” so that it survives into the future. As expressed by Curtis Quam (of the Zuni CRAT), “(projects) like these and experiencing these places is really important…particularly sharing it with the kids.” Multiple tribes and pueblos have been invited to participate in the project. Representatives from Zuni, the Mescalero Apache, and the White Mountain Apache have generously shared their interpretations of panels. Working together with the tribes on this project has provided an opportunity for tribes to reconnect with these special places, has been a rewarding experience for Forest personnel, and will enhance visitor experience for years to come.

Cite this Record

Celebrating Native Interpretations of "Rock Art" on the Gila National Forest. Wendy Sutton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404006)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;