The Hopi are Ancestral Puebloan descendents who, despite significant obstacles over the last several hundred years, still flourish and thrive as world-renown artisans.
Attractions & Cultural Centers
Old Oraibi Village, Located in Third Mesa, AZ - No photographs allowed, Hopi welcome visitors but ask that their traditional way of life be respected. This is the oldest continuously inhabited village in North America.
The Hopi Cultural Center, Restaurant, & Inn, located in Second Mesa, AZ - Learn about traditional Hopi culture and see great works of craftsmanship and artistry. Additionally, the restaurant features some traditional Hopi recipes.
The Hopi inhabit the Four Corners region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Prior to the modern reservations, they used and covered lands spanning much of the region, but today they live within 12 small villages on the Hopi Reservation, completely surrounded by the Navajo Nation.
History & Culture
The Hopi are descended from the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi), who settled the Colorado Plateau region from around 100-1600 AD. Hopi culture is one of the oldest documented cultures in the world, and some of their settlements, including the village of Oraibi, are some of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the US.
The Hopi had early contact with the Spanish explorers in the 1540s. With them was brought conversion to Christianity, persecution of traditional Hopi religious practices, and forced labor. In 1680, the Hopi and Pueblo Revolt resulted in several separate Pueblo tribes driving out Spanish settlers, killing Catholic leaders, and burning/destroying churches and other buildings. By 1700, the Catholic had reestablished a small presence in the area, but never to the extent of control they had previously.
Hopi people maintained relative peace through the 1800s, despite occasional disturbances with other neighboring tribes, Mormon settlers, and the closely expanding Santa Fe Railroad. In the late 1800s, Hopi children were forced into boarding schools several miles away from their villages, and culturally charged with european dress, education, skills, languages, etc. In 1882, President Arthur established the Hopi Reservation, which was arbitrarily made around the lines of longitude and latitude, and which excluded already existing Hopi communities and sacred sites which are important to the people.
Around the same time, the neighboring Navajo Reservation began growing in size, per the federal government’s distribution. By 1934, the Navajo Reservation had completely encircled the Hopi Reservation, and was significantly larger at about 16 million acres, compared to the Hopi’s 1.5 million acres.
Today, the Hopi people are still primarily agricultural with small farms, but many also participate in tourism (primarily Grand Canyon Village), arts and crafts (basketry, weaving, pottery, dolls, etc.), and mining. A significant amount of coal is mined from the Navajo/Hopi reservations, leading to both economic opportunity and significant air pollution.
On the three mesas which Hopi villages are based, each has become known for different artistry. First Mesa, with the villages of Tewa, Sichomovi, and Walpi, is known for its quality pottery. Second Mesa, with the villages of Shungopavi, Sipaulovi, and Mishongnovi, is known for its fine coiled basketry. Third Mesa, with the villages of Kykotsmovi, Old Oraibi, Bacavi, and Hotevilla, is known for its beautiful wicker basketry, weaving, kachina doll carving, and silversmithing.
The Official Website of the Hopi Tribe. http://www.hopi-nsn.gov.
“Hopi Reservation.” ASU. http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_adjacentlands_hopireservation.html.
“Ancestral Pueblo Culture.” Encyclopedia Britanica. http://www.britannica.com/topic/Ancestral-Pueblo-culture.
Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. “Hopi Tribe.” http://itcaonline.com/?page_id=1162.
Hopi Cultural Center, Restaurant & Inn. http://www.hopiculturalcenter.com/reservations/.