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BANDELIER
National Monument
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Stone Lions
The shrine of the Stone Lions: Twin effigies of mountain lions in a walled enclosure.


Principal Ruins of the National Monument

STONE LIONS. Other noteworthy remains of the monument area lie outside Frijoles Canyon, accessible only by foot or horse trail across the mesas to the south. Perhaps the most frequently visited of these antiquities is the shrine of the Stone Lions, 10 miles from monument headquarters. Here on the mesa-top near an extensive ruin are two life-size crouching mountain lion effigies carved side by side out of the soft bedrock. This work of sculpture must have been accomplished many centuries ago, for long weathering and erosion have left small semblance of a true likeness. The shrine here is known to modern Indians, being visited occasionally by hunters who leave prayer offerings for success in their hunt. A second pair of stone lions was carved on a mesa-top several miles to the south, outside the monument boundary. These two pairs of life-size stone effigies are unique in the Southwest.



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