Friday, April 10, 2009

Hoodoos and Chinese Warriors

Inspiration Point was our next stop at Bryce Canyon.

This was the scene that greeted us when we reached the observation walkway. When we saw this spectacular perspective of the main amphitheater, we both were reminded of another scene. The second and third photos show increasingly closer views of a section in the upper right quadrant of the photo above.

The formation of the hoodoos, the pillars of sandstone, reminded us of the 8000+ life-size terracotta warriors of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. It was Emperor Qin who unified all of the warring clans into one nation.

Emperor Qin ordered the construction of his tomb when he was only 13 years old, an order that involved hundreds of thousands of workers and thirty-six years to complete.

Adding an interesting comparison to this impression of ours is the historical note that the Paiutes, who lived in the region when settlers came to southern Utah, accounted for the hoodoos as the "Legend People" whom Coyote, a trouble-maker in the supernatural world of the Paiutes, had turned to stone.

This is the view to the south from Inspiration Point,

and this is a closer view of a formation seen in the lower portion of the photo above. The formations in these last three photos caught our attention as we walked along the observation path overlooking this part of the Canyon.

We noted one final comparison between the work of the Chinese craftsmen and the natural forces at work on the hoodoos. As a result of the attention to detail in the physical features of the figures and the clothing of each of the Chinese figures, no two figures are exactly the same.

Also, the name of the craftsman creating each figure was inscribed on the warrior's robe, leg or armor.

This knowledge left us wondering where Sand, Wind, and Water had left their individual "signatures" on each one-of-a-kind hoodoo.

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