Coconino National Forest Archaeology Peter Pilles has studied the rock art of the ara for many years. The Red Rock country around Sedona has long been the home of the Wipukpaia – “The People at the Foot of the Red Rocks”. Their relationship to the land is reflected by the landscape, place names and rock formations associated with their origin traditions and the exploits of Ska’ddika’amche, a being anthropologists would identify as a “culture hero”. A culture hero typically instructs people on the things they need to know in order to survive; vanquishes monsters that threatened humans; creates features on the landscape; and other courageous feats that help people cope with the environment.
The rock shelters and canyons of the Red Rock country are filled with pictographs created over the centuries by people of many different cultures. Among the images are recurrent elements and designs that are recognized by the Yavapai. Many of these elements resemble attributes of Ska’ddika’amche and his interactions with other inhabitants of the region, as recorded in Yavapai traditions. Peter's presentation will illustrate the pictography believed to represent the Yavapai people and their stories about the Red Rock country.