314 N. River Street
East Dundee, IL 60118
Arts of Native America
They call it Kasha-Katuwe. It is a quiet place that reflects human occu-
pations spanning 4,000 years. During the 14th and 15th centuries, many
large ancestral pueblos were established, and their descendants, the
Pueblo de Cochiti, still inhabit the area surrounding Kasha-Katuwe, or
“white cliffs” in the Keresan language of Cochiti.
Visitors are awestruck by the tent-shaped rocks that snuggle up against
the cliffs of Peralta Canyon. The uniform shape of hundreds of these
tent rocks, that vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet, makes one won-
der who sculpted these magnificent pieces. Truth is, the creation process
began six to seven million years ago with a huge volcanic explosion
northwest of the site, leaving volcanic debris up to 400 feet deep.
Over time, water cut through the debris to form canyons, arroyos and
the tent rocks which are pumice and tuff deposits. Each tent rock is pro-
tected by a tougher pumice and tuff erosion-resistant caprock.
Today, visitors will still find small, rounded, translucent obsidian
(volcanic glass) fragments that were spewed about way back when.
The site is near Cochiti Pueblo, just southwest of Santa Fe, NM., and
has a number of walking trails. Since the altitude here is over 5,200 feet,
you might huff and puff a bit on your walk. Just take your time and
enjoy the amazing beauty and quiet of the Cochiti Tent Rocks.