Hopi Indian Archeology

   Archeology.—The erection and final abandonment of their villages by the various Hopi clans during their migrations and successive shifting:, have left many ruins, now consisting largely of mounds, both within their present territory and remote from it. Ruins of villages which the traditions of the Hopi ascribe to their an custom are found as far north as the Rio Colorado, west to Flagstaff, Ariz., south to the Verde valley, Tonto basin, and the Rio Gila, and east to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Therefore, although Shoshonean in language, the present Hopi population and culture are composite, made up of accretions from widely divergent sources and from people of different linguistic stocks. Some of the Hopi ruins have been explored by the Bureau of American Ethnology, the National Museum, and the Field Museum of Natural History. One of the most celebrated of these is Awatobi on Jeditoh or Antelope mesa, the walls of whose mission church, built probably in 1629, are still partly standing.
     Sikyatki, another large and now well-known ruin, in the foothills of the East mesa, was occupied in prehistoric times by Kokop clans of Keresan people from the Rio Grande country. They had attained a highly artistic development as exhibited by their pottery, which is probably the finest ware ever manufactured by Indians North of Mexico.
     The original clans of Walpi are said to have occupied three sites after their arrival in the Hopi country, settling first on the terrace west of the East mesa, then higher up and toward the south, where the foundation walls of a Spanish mission church can still be traced. From this point they moved to the present Walpi on the summit of the mesa, apparently soon after the Pueblo revolt of 1680. See Kisakobi, Kuchaptureta.
     Payupki, a picturesque ruin on the Middle mesa, was settled by Tanoan people (apparently Tigua) about the year 1700 and abandoned about 1742, when the inhabitants were taken back to the Rio Grande and settled at Sandia.
     Chukubi, a prehistoric pueblo midway between Payupki and Shupaulovi, also on the Middle mesa, was built probably by southern clans whose descendants form most of the present population of the Middle mesa villages.
     Old Shongopovi lay in the foothills at the base of the Middle mesa, below the present pueblo of that name. This town was inhabited at the time of the Spanish advent, and near it was built a church the walls of which, up to a few years ago, served as a sheep corral. Its original in-habitants came from the Little Colorado valley.
     The ruins of Old Mishongnovi are on the terrace below the present pueblo. Its walls are barely traceable. From its cemetery beautiful pottery, resembling that of Sikyatki, has been exhumed.
     Some of the most important ruins of the Hopi country are situated on the rim of Antelope mesa, not far from Awatobi, and are remains of Keresan pueblos. Among these are Kawaika and Chakpahu. In the same neighborhood are the ruins of Kokopki, once occupied by the Wood clan, originally from Jemez. North of the present Hopi mesas are ruins at Kishuba, where the Kachina clan once lived, and at Lengyanobi, the home of the Flute people. The ruins along the lower Little Colorado, near Black falls, known as Wukoki, and those called Homolobi, near Winslow, are likewise claimed by the Hopi as the homes of ancestral clans. Wukoki may have been inhabited by the Snake people, while the inhabitants of Homolobi were related to southern clans that went to Walpi and Zuñi.

The books presented are for their historical value only and are not the opinions of the Webmasters of the site.   Handbook of American Indians, 1906

Index of Tribes or Nations


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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