Of Gods and Men




San Acacio Viejo, CO

Just outside of San Luis, Colorado, in the southeast corner of the state, sits this old church. According to local legend, in the 1880s a small settlement of farmers were threatened by Ute warriors from the surrounding area. The group of settlers, composed of men, women, children, and the elderly, were no match for the approaching war party, and in fear dropped to their knees and prayed to Saint Acacio for deliverance. While still praying, the settlers noticed the warriors halt their ponies in confusion, pointing to the sky and shouting to one another in the Ute language. The Utes then turned quickly around and departed, leaving the small band of settlers relieved, if puzzled. Years later, someone met an old Indian woman at a  nearby trading post, and the subject of the strange event came up in conversation. The old woman said she knew the warriors, and that they had turned back because they saw a menacing figure in the clouds. The settlers decided that it was San Acacio who had appeared to defend them that day and had driven away the Utes. In gratitude they built this church in honor of the good saint.

Sleeping Ute Mountain, CO

Sleeping Ute Mountain, CO

Meanwhile, on the western side of Colorado, lie the Ute Mountains (named after the Ute tribe of Indians, of course). This mountain range is also known as the “Sleeping Ute” since it resembles the reclining figure. In this picture, his head is on the left and his feet are on the right, and his hands are folded across his chest in the middle. According to Ute legend, the figure is of a “Great Warrior God” who is resting after an epic battle with  the “Evil Ones”  who were causing a lot of trouble (perhaps European settlers?). The Utes believe he will rise once again to fight for the good of the tribe in a future hour of need (and maybe duke it out with the likes of San Acacio).

They say Colorado is a hotspot for UFO activity. Perhaps it is only the gods, playing their war games.



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