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Visiting the Hopi Mesas of Arizona - Second and Third Mesas

How to Visit the Land of the Hopi


Sipaulovi Village

Sipaulovi Village

Photo Credit: Experience Hopi
Second Mesa

Visitors can also tour the village of Sipaulovi. Look for the visitor's center in the center of town. When we arrived, it was closed so we did not tour. This is not unusual in Hopi. We thought it would be interesting to return and tour to the top of the old village. There is a $15 per person charge for the Walking Tour.

More information: www.sipaulovihopiinformationcenter.org and on the Experience Hopi website.

Third Mesa

Ray took us to Oraibi (ozaivi) on Third Mesa. Located on the westernmost of the Hopi mesas, this is probably the oldest continuously inhabited pueblo in the Southwest dating back to perhaps 1000-1100 a.d. Old Oraibi documents Hopi culture and history from before European contact to the present day. We began our tour by stopping in to the shop, where we parked.

Ray walked us through the village which was preparing for a weekend ceremonial. Residents were outside doing yard work and cleaning up. We understood that during the weekend the village would swell to several thousand as people returned for the ceremonial dances. Earlier in the day, we were concerned that we might not be able to tour as the men were arriving at the Kivas and carrying ceremonial gear inside.

As we walked through the current village, we arrived at an area, to the rear, which overlooked the valley. The stones of the homes had fallen to the ground and the village was flat. In the village where we had just toured, newer homes were built on old, layer upon layer. This place was very different. Ray explained that the village had split along lines of traditional and contemporary believers. In 1906. Tribal leaders on different sides of the schism engaged in a bloodless competition to determine the outcome, which resulted in the expulsion of the traditionalists, who left to found the village of Hotevilla.

As we pondered this ideological split, Ray directed our attention to the mesas in the far distance and explained how the sun's position would be used to mark the ceremonial calendar.

If you visit Oraibi without a guide, stop at the store and inquire where you may go and where you cannot. I believe it's a closed village. I highly recommend you go with a guide. Oraibi is known as the "mother village" to the Hopi and it is important that you learn something of the history in order to fully appreciate what you are seeing.

Ray provides a narrated tour through Kykotsmovi, Bacavi, stopping in Ozaivi for a walking tour (2 hour tour) and charges $25 per person

In order to fully appreciate the Hopi culture and lands, it is important to tour all three mesas with a knowledgeable guide. Take your time, ponder what you will be told, appreciate the culture and viewpoint of the people and open your mind... and your heart. You will return for more!

More Information

Ray Coin's Tour Services:
Located behind the Second Mesa Cultural Center
Sacred Travel & Images, LLC
P.O. Box 919
Hotevilla, AZ 86030
Phone:(928) 734-6699 (928) 734-6699
fax: (928) 734-6692
Email: hopisti@yahoo.com

Ray offers tours to the Hopi Mesas and to Dawa Park, a petroglyph site. He also will do customized tours throughout Arizona.He will pick you up at the Moenkopi Legacy Inn if you are staying there.

Marlinda Kooyaquaptewa's Tours:
Located behind the Second Mesa Cultural Center
Email: mar-cornmaiden@yahoo.com
$20 per hour
Marlinda offers shopping tours, village tours and Prophecy tours.

Excellent Las Vegas Review-Journal Article highlighting another tour provider.

Other recognized guides can be found on the Experience Hopi website.

Enlargeable Map of Hopi

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