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Pinetop-Lakeside by Chris Paxman
The ancient ways endure in a Hopi village perched high atop Third Mesa.
Established around 900 to 1000 AD – yes, you read that right – Oraibi (called Orayvi by inhabitants) is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the US. Because of its isolation, the village has resisted much of the modern development that marks many tribal lands. Today, ruins of an old Spanish mission established in 1629 stand in contrast to old stone and newer cinder block houses.
Visitors are welcome – it’s an easy drive on AZ Highway 264 – but residents are private and it’s polite to ask before snapping a photo. In fact, abandon your camera, and instead talk to the village men, women, and children who sell collectible arts and crafts including Katsina dolls, baskets, and pottery. The reward? An intimate window into a well-preserved culture rarely glimpsed by outsiders. Be sure to sample traditional piki bread, featherweight layers of blue corn that melt on your tongue. The piki stone used to cook the bread is priceless and is passed down from mother to daughter for generations.
Visit City Site
Tuba City, AZ | (928) 283-4500 | experiencehopi.com/
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