Bluff is a Feeling

Bluff, UTah is a feeling of peace and harmony.

Bluff is a Feeling

People often say that “Bluff is a feeling.”

Perhaps it’s the friendly, small-town feeling.

Maybe it’s the way you’re transported when you see the nearby petroglyphs, and you imagine how people lived here over a 1,000 years ago.

It might be the serenity and calm you sense when you discover the Milky Way on a clear night, the sky more brilliantly lit with stars than you, perhaps, have ever seen it.   Or the freedom you experience as you take in the magnificent panorama of the nearby Muley Point overlook.

The Navajo word, “Hozho”, may explain it best.   Hozho is the most important word in the Navajo language.  It means peace, balance, beauty and harmony.  To be “in Hozho” is to be at one with, and a part of, the world around you.

Consideration of the nature of the universe, the world, man, the nature of time and space, creation, growth, motion, order, control, and the life cycle, all expressed in terms quite impossible to translate into English.

We hope you feel this connection and come to discover Hozho when you visit Bluff.

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The Great Kiva in Bluff, UT

Ancient History in Bluff, UT

Ancient History in Bluff, UT

After you’ve stopped by Twin Rocks Café, and you’ve perused the beauty in Twin Rocks Trading Post, take a walk up the winding hill just behind us.  It’s there you’ll see the Great Kiva in Bluff, UT.

By the late 1000s, a powerful new cultural sensibility swept across the Mesa Verde region, which includes the canyon-rich landscapes of southeastern Utah.

Deriving from New Mexico, this “Chacoan Phenomenon” featured bold architectural elements: great houses, great kivas, and roads. Bluff Valley’s social center was relocated to the north side of the river onto a hilltop that overlooks the entire valley. This new community center, the Bluff Great House site, included a multi-story masonry great house and an enormous subterranean great kiva.

Archaeological research suggests that the site remained in use for about 200 years. The site itself was the southern terminus of an extensive network of great houses and prehistoric roads that stretched from the San Juan River to the foot of the Abajo Mountains in the north. By the mid-1,200s, this great alliance had fallen apart, and the Puebloan people moved south to inhabit the landscapes of the Rio Grande, the Zuni Mountains, and the Hopi Mesas.

All of this plus good food and terrific art.  What more could you want?

A Man Who is an Unusual Weaver, Allison Billy

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post interviews Navajo Rug Weaver Allison Billy.

Allison is one of the few men in Utah, or in any part of the Navajo Nation, who is a weaver.  Traditionally a woman’s art, Allison talks about how he learned (from his grandmother), and when he learned –when he was nine years old.

Allison is a terrific storyteller, and listening to a rare person is always, well, a rare treat.

The Passion of Southwest Turquoise

Twin Rocks Trading Post offers the finest in American classic turquoise jewelry

New Burnham Turquoise Bracelet set in a Timeless Design.

Gem quality turquoise used in Native American jewelry is a special passion for us here at Twin Rocks Trading Post.  We search far and wide for the best in natural Southwest American turquoise as well as fine quality specimens of Persian and Chinese turquoise.

Turquoise is identified by the mine it comes from. Twin Rocks’ wide selection of classic American turquoise includes Bisbee, Blue Diamond, Blue Gem, Burnham, Carico Lake, Cripple Creek, Damele, Fox, Kingman, Lone Mountain, Morenci, Number 8, Pilot Mountain, Red Mountain, Royston, Sleeping Beauty, Stenech and Turquoise Mountain.

And, we believe in placing turquoise within classic southwestern jewelry settings.  We work with the best Native Southwest silversmiths and goldsmiths, including Will Denetdale, John Begay Jr., John Yazzie, and Eugene Livingston. We love to see their blasts into the past and their experiments that pull us into the future.  (We also work with outstanding turquoise bead artists Ray Lovato, John Huntress, Bruce Eckhardt and Kai Gallagher.)  Our goal is to offer true Native American turquoise craftsmanship in individually designed jewelry treasures.

If you are looking for unique, high-quality turquoise bracelets, earrings, rings, pendants, necklaces and other beautiful objects crafted in sterling silver and 14k gold, look no further. You will not find a better selection anywhere in the Southwest — that is our promise and our guarantee to you.

While exploring the Southwest, seek out one of the best-kept secrets in the United States: Bluff, UT, and Twin Rocks Trading Post and Gallery. For decades we have built loyal clients, and we all benefit from our strong relationships with local artists.

When you visit, stop by the cafe and put your feet up.  Enjoy the Bluffs. Talk to the locals.  Then come down to the Trading Post and Gallery. Feel the passion of the turquoise, and the love that goes into creating one of the finest collections of Native American arts and crafts.

It’s all about the beauty!

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

Come to Twin Rocks Trading Posts and visit Arches National Park

Arches National Park is one of the natural treasures near Twin Rocks.

The First Morning

“This is the most beautiful place on earth.

“There are many such places.  Every man, every woman carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, actual or visionary.  A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio or Rome — there’s no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment.  Theologians, sky pilots, astronauts have even felt the appeal of home calling to them from above, in the cold black outback of interstellar space.

“For myself, I’ll take Moab, Utah.  I don’t mean the town itself, of course, but the country which surrounds it — the Canyonlands. The slick-rock desert.  The red dust and the burnt cliffs and the lonely sky — all that which lies beyond the end of the roads.”

…………..

The above was written by Edward Abbey, and it is from his book about our red rock country, Desert Solitaire.  His use of words is incomparable.  The perfect description of how we feel about this, the part of the land we carry in our hearts.  The part that grabs travelers as they pass through.

Come to Twin Rocks in Bluff, UT and discover the art that emerges from this magical place.  You will be captivated and amazed. But you won’t be surprised. Art that comes from land with this sort of beauty is breathtaking, purely imagined, and the inspiration is clear.

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When Bluff Became a Town

Utah town, Bluff, was founded in 650 A.d.

Welcome to Bluff, UT, founded 650 A.D.

Founded in 650 A.D.?

The first people who lived in Bluff, UT were the Anasazi who left lifetimes of belongings and rock art behind.

The Navajo name for Bluff is “Tselgaii Deez a, or something like “White Rock Point.”  If you still have a regular map, pull it out.  Bluff is in the far S.E. corner of Utah right on the San Juan River.

Prehistoric roads, those that are different and earlier than the Chacoan road system, are in our areaVery cool, indeed.

A rock formation called The Navajo Twins, which is sacred to the Navajo people, stands above nearby Cow Canyon.  It’s also where we got our name, Twin Rocks.

The first white person to explore this area, that we know of, was a zealous Mormon missionary named Jacob Hamblin.  He found Bluff on his way to the Hopi Mesas, hoping to talk the Hopis into moving their pueblo farther north.  (Seriously.)  At any rate, the community was officially founded in 1880.  Bluff is an area that was used as a semi-refuge by Navajos during the time when most were shipped off to the Bosque Redondo.

Then, in 1887, just outside Bluff, trouble reared its head.  A trader, Amassa Barton, was killed by Navajos.  One week later Navajos threatened the Mormon families who had moved to Bluff.  They kept their cool when told that the cavalry would show up.

Bluff has had a colorful past.  Its present is pretty colorful, too.  Anglos and Navajos live, work and trade together.  But as far as the magic the rings the hills and makes a whirring sound?  Only the Navajos can decipher that.  At least that’s what they tell us…