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Adolf Bandelier

Adolf F.A. Bandelier was born in Switzerland in 1840 and raised in Illinois. In 1880, this 40-year-old self-taught anthropologist-historian came to the New Mexico Territory under sponsorship of the Archeological Institute of America. His goal was to trace the social organization, customs and movements of the Southwestern and Mexican peoples.

Bandelier traveled and studied the canyons and mesas throughout the region, speaking with many indigenous people and visiting 166 ruins in New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. In 1880, men from Cochiti Pueblo guided Bandelier to their nearby ancestral homes in Frijoles Canyon. When he came upon the ancient pueblo ruins, he is reported to have exclaimed, "This is the grandest thing I ever saw."

The canyon's year-round stream, sheer cliffs and cave-room architecture inspired Bandelier to write the 1890 novel, The Delight Makers, depicting Pueblo life in pre-Spanish times. Bandelier's pioneering work laid much of the foundation for modern Southwest archeology. Today the Bandelier National Historic Monument honors his legacy, and embodies the Frijoles Canyon area he had studied and written of in his novel, the Delight Makers.

In Memory by Charles Lummis

Excerpts from Delight Makers