Hisat’sinom to Hopi: Establishing Cultural Affiliation in the Bears Ears Landscape

As part of a 3 day hiking tour of archaeological sites in the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM), I was asked to share a personal perspective based on my experiences as an archaeologist, outdoor guide and person of Hopi descent. When it comes to the Bears Ears, issues such as preservation archaeology, tourism and Indigenous …

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Spirit of Place: Preserving the Cultural Landscape of the Bears Ears

1200 A.D. Dawn breaks over a secluded canyon, spreading a sliver of orange light along the rim as a lone canyon wren welcomes the morning, singing another day into existence. As the light increases in intensity, it illuminates a sheer cliff face, revealing layers of geologic time; ancient cross-bedded sand dunes and million-year old ocean …

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Beyond Stone & Mortar: A Hopi Perspective on the Preservation of “Ruins” (& Culture)

  “Buildings too, are children of Earth and Sun” ~Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect Throughout the American Southwest are thousands of prehistoric architectural remains that were once the homes, ceremonial centers and gathering places for the Indigenous peoples who occupied this vast geographic area. Ranging in size from pit-houses to large village and cliff-dwelling complexes, and …

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Cultural Tourism: Are You A ‘Real’ Indian?

It’s 2013 and I’m leading a tour group through Monument Valley; what many consider a “must-stop” for any exploration of the Southwest. As I’m explaining the history of the area, another tour group listens in. When I’m finished, one of them approaches me and asks, “Are you a real Indian?” I reply “Yes, I’m Hopi”. …

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