Little Springs Lava Flow Ethnographic Investigation
The Little Springs Lava Flow is located on the south side of Mount Trumbull on the southern portion of the Arizona Strip. The lava flow is situated in the middle of the Uinkaret Volcanic Field, which is one of the largest volcanic fields north of the Grand Canyon.
For thousands of years, Southern Paiute people have used the Little Springs Lava Flow and the surrounding landscape. This long-term use contributes to the area’s complex history and cultural connections. The Southern Paiute cultural connections and landscape attachment to the Little Springs Lava Flow and the larger Uinkaret Volcanic Field goes back in time to what Southern Paiute people call the Time of Creation or what legally is called time immemorial. Southern Paiute people maintain that they are the people who were created in and for this cultural landscape. According to Southern Paiute oral history, when the world was formed, the Creator established a set of mutual obligations and responsibilities between Southern Paiute people and this living natural world. As a result, places like volcanoes need to be interacted with, maintained, and respected.
This study was funded by Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, and is the second Southern Paiute ethnographic study in the area. This work serves as a follow-up to the 2005 two volume report entitled: Yanawant: Southern Paiute Place Names and Cultural Landscapes (Austin, Dean, and Gaines 2005, Stoffle et al. 2005). During this study, Southern Paiute representatives requested that more ethnographic studies be funded to further understand locations throughout the Arizona Strip, particularly the Little Springs Lava Flow. Information gathered during this study will provide the associated federal agencies with cultural and ethnographic interpretations of the Little Springs Lava Flow and management recommendations for how to best protect and preserve this area for the future.