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