"LIVING HISTORY" Second Mesa by madamx
Second Mesa Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 19 photos
We decided to visit the Hopi Mesas after hearing about my friend's interesting trip there. We are not fans of booked tours, but decided to do so in this case, as we wanted to get the best experience we could.
The Hopi are a native people who live on a reservation surrounded by the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. Many of them reside in ancient stone villages on geological features called Mesas. A mesa basically looks like a mountain with the top cut off. From a mesa, they could have a good overlook of their land, plus it was good for defence purposes. If you are interested in archeology or anthropology and have time, I urge you to visit the mesas.
I mainly did my research on the internet for a tour; take your time and choose a tour operator that you would feel comfortable with. I tried to book a native-owned tour business, but it was pretty frustrating, as I was e-mailing one guide, and for some reason, he stopped, and I could not get in touch with him. Another company did not get back to me until two days before we were leaving (I had requested a booking 3 weeks before) and so I had to turn him down as I had booked with another company.
It turned out we were the only ones on the tour, and we got to know our guides very, very well, becoming good friends by the end of the trip. Try to get a native tour guide as they can give you a good perspective on Hopiland and it's people. Our guides are part Cherokee and were very well versed in Hopi culture and geography and natural sciences. We had so much information thrown at us we were overwhelmed, but we learned a lot from our guides.
The Hopi are pretty strict about not allowing photography, writing, or sketching or any type of recording in the villages. This was due to their past eperience of being exploited, plus having people invade their privacy, which is understandable. However, it was my experience that they will allow pictures of themselves or their homes if you give them money. I decided not to do this. Don't be afraid to bring your camera as there are opportunities to take indirect pictures, all you have to do is ask.
I really didn't know what to expect in my interaction with the Hopi, as the culture is quite insular. Hopi means "peaceful people", and I later found in my interactions with a majority of them that they are a pleasant, shy, friendly people.
True, in the villages they will approach you mainly to sell some crafts, but I found they were happy to invite you into their homes, have a conversation about the art, how they made it, about their life in general. They are not offended if you don't buy anything. Treat them with politeness and respect, as with anyone else, and you will get the same in return.
All the pictures taken on the Hopi reservation were taken with permission
- In a nutshell:An Eye Opening Experience
The Hopi Reservation is literally the centre of the universe to these people. They acquired this land through a fairly... more travel advice
This is the traditional bread of the Hopi, made of blue corn. A paper-thin layer of batter is spread on a grill, then... more travel advice
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