January 29, 2010

New Hopi hotel to open

New hotel to open on Hopi Reservation

By Sam LoweUnder ordinary circumstances, the opening of a new hotel in Arizona might not be big news. The opening of the Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites will be an exception.

It's only the second hotel on the Hopi Reservation, and it signals a step by the tribe to share its culture with outsiders. Because the Hopis felt exploited by tourists, journalists and photographers who first came to the area more than a century ago, they have, until recently, resisted tourism.

The new hotel will give visitors a starting point to learn about the culture of one of the nation's oldest indigenous tribes, and it will provide jobs in an economically depressed area.
And:The hotel also will tell the story of the Hopi, who trace their ancestry back more than 2,000 years. They are said to have descended from the Anasazi, prehistoric people who lived throughout the Four Corners area.

The centerpiece of the lobby is a three-story fireplace designed to resemble the mesas, hills and stone architecture that are major parts of tribal culture. It was designed and executed by local artist Eddie Calnimptewa.

Across from the fireplace, the hotel's logo--a stained-glass circle by Howard Pavinyama, another Hopi artist--depicts the Hopi tradition of praying at dawn. Tribal symbols have been woven into the carpeting, and display cases in the lobby will exhibit the works of Hopi artists, known for their kachina dolls, pottery and jewelry. The gift shop will feature pieces by village artists.
Comment:  I've driven by the hotel's location twice, I think. I would've been happy to stay at the hotel if it had existed then.

For similar projects, see Hopi to Reopen Twin Arrows and Navajo View Hotel Opens.

Below:  "The new Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites is just the second hotel on the Hopi Reservation. It's at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Arizona 264." (Sam Lowe/Special for The Republic)

1 comment:

sandyv said...

I travel that area as often as possible but have always avoided the Hopi out of respect for them. I grew up down there so know the reasons for their decisions and agree with them. I wish it would have been open the last time I took my sister there. She was dying and we made our Native tour all over and to as many places as she could handle. Maybe I can take my native grandkids there, now.