prayer trees (copy)

A ponderosa tree grows twisted.

Some aspects of Ute tradition lost

Dr. Joe Barrera writes a fascinating article in the Nov. 7 Gazette concerning Ute “Prayer Trees.” These are ancient Ponderosa pine trees which have been modified, usually by bending. But there is a rub.

This past June Ute Tribal Elders stated: While other Tribes may have conducted these types of practices, the practice of bending trees is not part of the customary cultural traditions of Ute people, past or present, who comprise the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribes — These trees have been falsely attributed to the Ute Nations’ general cultural practices — Some individuals, claiming to possess Ute cultural knowledge, have incorrectly asserted that Ute people purposefully bent trees for cultural purposes.

There also exist ancient three-dimensional terrain maps carved into stone which the Ute do not claim. Locally they lie along upper Bear Creek Canyon, and at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. They are also carved into the red sandstone under-foot beginning ten minutes up Section 16 Trail.

Along the trail leading down from the Fontanero St. parking spaces at Monument Valley Park lie several more boulder-maps. The one furthest west represents the area it overlooks, roughly between Fillmore and just south of Uintah, and westward to Camp Creek (31st Street.) A relief map will help you interpret them since the area is now covered with buildings. Generally all exposed surfaces of these maps are carved; “folded,” you might say.

It is implausible that Plains Indians invested effort in territory which belonged to another tribe — or that the Ute would have allowed it. The only reasonable explanation is that some aspects of Ute cultural tradition have been lost to them.

Rick Bergles

Colorado Springs

A new revisionist commentary

I was visiting Colorado Springs last Sunday morning when I read the Gazette Opinion article by Mike Rosen on the N.Y. Times’ “1619 Project”. I was perplexed by media’s efforts to convey a new revisionist commentary and future public school curriculum on American racial slavery history.

The event did happen but it wasn’t the first time a rich English entrepreneur had kidnapped African slaves and tried to sell them in the Americas. These “19 or so” Blacks brought to the Jamestown area were not made slaves after the Dutch flagged ship dropped them and ran, but made Indentured Servants the same as the majority of the Colony’s whites “at that time”. King James VI and I (1603-1625) who ruled England had outlawed slavery in our colonies.

Slave trader John Hawkins’ third venture in capturing Africans from slavers left England in 1567 and is memorable but not for this endeavor. For it resulted in David Ingram’s “Amazing Journey” across America trip back to England. He and many crew were marooned on the Gulf Coast. Christopher Columbus’s famous 1492 voyage to discover America’s last stop was in the Azores. Where “at the time” the European white Spanish were warring over the Islands and enslaving the Native blacks.

All media should be ashamed and furious for this use of the industry’s prized award and organization named after Joseph Pulitzer. This 19th century newspaper publisher was a “one-man revolution” in the editorial policy, content, and format for all our world’s media.

Gary Scofield


First the wall, then surveillance

Re: Ruben Navarrette’s Nov. 8,column entitled “Our border-security dialogue has a gaping hole in it”.

First I agree that we need a surveillance system for our southern border. I have a surveillance system with sensors, alarms and video surveillance camera for our home. However, before we installed the surveillance system, we installed locking doors, windows and garage doors on all the openings.

You see the government of our neighbors to the south allows cartels to operate. The cartels are cooperating with China to funnel very lethal versions of the opiate drugs (additional lacings) to the United States. If my neighbors were manufacturing, distributing, or even using illegal opiate drugs openly, I would contact the authorities to have them prosecuted.

So first the wall, then a state-of-the-art surveillance system with enforcement of any laws violated by our “neighbors”. Let’s truly control our borders.

LaMar P ‘Spike’ Craig

Colorado Springs

We are going through inanity

What we are now going through is “inane;” and why is this so?

It is terribly sad that there are those, among us, who want to make it so. It is the defining “moment” of our time.

President Donald Trump will never be impeached and removed from office.

What, we Americans, are laboring through is inanity.

Glenn E. Duke Shrader

Colorado Springs

This soap opera presidency

In Friday’s Gazette: President Trump fined $2 million for misusing his charitable foundation to further his political and business interests. President Trump pushing to out the whistleblower who launched the impeachment inquiry despite the fact that whistleblowers’ identities are protected by law. Another day, another all-too-commonplace scandal in this soap opera of our presidency.

Is it any wonder that, except for the 99% of evangelicals who continue to support our president through hell and high water, over 50% of Americans want to change the channel?

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs

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