Kin Ya'a (Tall House)

Kin Ya'a kiva -- one of manyKin Ya'a kiva 2Kin Ya'a (Tall House or Towering House in Navajo) is located southwest of Chaco Canyon (near Crownpoint). The major feature is a portion of a multistory kiva. The rest is largely a mound of unexcavated rubble.

From the National Park Service:

Kin Ya'a is one of Chaco's more unique great houses, located thirty miles from Chaco Canyon. Its imposing tower kiva, estimated to have originally been over thirty-five feet high, is a dominant feature on the landscape. Kin Ya'a's lofty tower might have aided visual communication between Chaco Canyon and other distant areas. A prehistoric road leads north from Kin Ya'a toward Chaco Canyon, and is visible as a broad, shallow swale flanked by linear mounds. Road alignments extend southwest and west from Kin Ya'a to Hosta Butte and possibly the communities along the Dutton Plateau. A settlement with an associated great kiva surrounds Kin Ya'a. Most of these structures are contemporaries of the towering Kin Ya'a, built during the late 1000s and early 1100s. Near the great house are several small sites and two water-control features which remain of this adjacent community.

Historically, Kin Ya'a is sacred to the Navajo. In most versions of the Navajo origin myth, the Kinya'anii, one of the four ancestral clans, make their home nearby.

Note: most of these photos are links to larger images.


Kin Ya'a kiva 3
Kin Ya'a kiva 4Kin Ya'a kiva 5

potshard with black linespotshard with very different black linespotshard from 'common' wareWhile walking to Kin Ya'a, I saw lots of potsherds scattered all over, even a quarter mile from the ruins.


The Kin Ya'a sign -- Tall House
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Copyright © 2002 by Mark Justice Hinton.
revised Saturday September 14, 2002 11:28 AM