• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

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Artifact Gallery -- Sandal

Woven sandal

Sandals woven from yucca fiber were typical footwear of the Mesa Verde people. Yucca fibers were boiled or soaked and then pounded to expose the inner fibers. These fibers were also used to produce rope, snares, mats, baskets, belts, and much more.

Yucca plants were also used as a food source (their large green fruits can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted) and as a source of soap or shampoo (made from the roots). Some people call the Yucca plant “the convenience store of the Southwest.” It is your one-stop shop for many important supplies. For a Yucca Flower Soup recipe, see the book American Indian Food & Lore: 150 Authentic Recipes.

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Did You Know?

Photograph of Cliff Palace, 1895 - 1900 by WH Jackson

On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.