By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by the Hopi Arts Trail)
Spanning over a thousand years, the Hopi lived in one of the longest preserved cultures in North America.
The Upper Village of Moenkopi, in Hopi, in northern Arizona allows visitors into the Hopi tribal land to meet Indian artists and see their handwork. The Hopi Arts Trail, an affiliate of Hopi Artists and Galleries, are attempting to introduce the Hopi Indian’s ancient arts and culture.
The Hopi’s 12 villages spotlight several different cultures and southwestern native art. You can watch the Indians practice these ageless arts in modern times.
Whether the Hopi’s create their own contemporary or ancient traditional versions of jewelry silversmithing, pottery, basket weaving, Kachina Doll carving, glassworks, painting, sculpture or other art forms, this is a moment in time to experience their traditions and culture.
You can drive around the Hopi reservation using the Arts Trail Map of the galleries. The Hopi Tribe have certified tour guides adding more stories and information about their art to your visit. There is time to meet the artists and ask questions.
Listen to some of the Kachina Dolls and the other native art’s legends, stories and the teachings of Mahkewa.
The Hopi Arts Trail describe their Motto, “The Hopi Arts Trail logo was designed to promote and portray Hopi Artists and an important aspect of Hopi Life (Hopi Katsi), Morning in Hopi. The sun rising in the back of the mesas is the symbol of a new day, Talavai (Morning) is the time when prayers are said to Our Father the Sun (Tawa). Prayers for a good life, for all things all over the world and especially the rain which is depicted in the clouds. The four colors of the Hopi are utilized representing the four directions, the four worlds, and white, red, blue, and yellow corn. The white section in the middle meaning purity or the trail we leave behind and that we are setting for generations to come.
The Hopi occupy an area of approximately 2,439 square miles in northeastern Arizona at an elevation of 5,800-6,000 feet. The Hopi people live in 12 villages located in four regions referred to as First Mesa, Second Mesa, Third Mesa and Moenkopi (part of Third Mesa). While language custom and tradition are similar, each region has features that are unique from other regions. Traveling across Hopi is easy – simply follow Arizona State highway 264 which connects the Upper Village of Moenkopi at the Western Gateway to Hopi with the other villages. You will travel through some of the most open and pristine land in the American west.”
Imagine arriving at authentic Hopi villages, living villages, seeing intact original homes continuously occupied for centuries. You are in the Hopi world, experiencing their lifestyle.
invite you into their home workshops.
You will also meet artists on the Walking Tours in Walpi and Sipaulovi, where artists sell their art in the streets of the villages. You can be assured that the art you find on your visit to the Hopi mesas will be authentic and will be some of the most beautiful Native American art you have ever seen!