The San Francisco Peaks are the hugest mountains in Arizona and they can be seen from nearly everywhere in Northern Arionza. The Peaks are sacred to the Hopi, an Indigenous People of the American Southwest.
The Hopi Reservation is entirely surrounded by Navajo lands. The landscape is harsh and barren, so at least it appears. Actually it is far from barren. The Hopi have cultivated crops here for a thousand years.
The Hopi are deeply religious people. Their religion is a big part of their ordinary lives. Their religious ceremonies often focus on kachina which are spirit figures that symbolize nature in all of its forms. Carver wooden dolls, called kachina are ubiquitous in gift shops in the area. During the growing season kachina dancers get in on the act by representing the spiritual figures. Through the kachina the Hopi worshipped the living plants and animals that they believed arrived each year to stay with the tribe during the growing season.
Most of the Hopi villages are on or near three of the three flat topped mesas. They are name First, Second, and Third Mesa. We drove by the first two. When we were in the area a couple of years ago we drove by 2 of them and took note of the homes at the top but we had been advised it would not be a good idea to stop and photograph them from in town as friends of ours who had lived with them for a year had told us we would not be welcome. We did photograph them from a distance and I included a photograph in an earlier post.
Currently, the Hopi continue the agricultural practices and many of the ceremonies of their Anasazi forebears. Hopi villages still contain underground chambers called kivas which are said to represent the hole in the ground through which it was believed people emerged into the world. There is also a Hopi legend, that makes a lot of sense to me, that humanity has 3 times led to the destruction of the natural world by failing to honour the Creator’s divine laws. However, 3 times humanity has come back into being. Let’s hope they (we) do a better job this time around.