March 19, 2011

Homolovi isn't a ruin

Daybreak--Native-American cultural areas in Arizona

Homolovi site alive with tradition, not lifeless ruins, Hopi Tribe saysA dozen Hopi clans trace their history to an ancient civilization along the Little Colorado River. Before they lived atop three mesas in northern Arizona, they lived at Homolovi.

But the Hopi Tribe doesn’t consider the site near Winslow a relic of the past. Tribal members still make offerings at the site, and it plays prominently into their oral tradition.

“These sites are still part of our ongoing history as Hopi people,” said Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, director of the tribe’s cultural preservation office. “So people consider them to be spiritually alive.”

The Hopis, who want Homolovi Ruins State Park to reflect that belief, have asked the Arizona Parks Board to drop the word “ruins” from the name. The board will vote on the tribe’s request in Winslow on Thursday, a day before the park re-opens.
Comment:  I think I stopped by Homolovi on one of my visits to the Hopi reservation.

This is another example of the difference between mainstream and Native values. To the Hopi, the Homolovi site is alive, not dead. Places don't lose their meaning because people move away.

For more on the Hopi, see Hopi One Love Concert and Hopi in The Gods Laughed.

Below:  "The Homolovi II pueblo is shown in Homolovi Ruins State Park outside of Winslow." (Joanna Dodder/The Daily Courier)

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