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Pinetop-Lakeside by Chris Paxman


The heart of Hopi lies in its wind-swept, sunbaked villages, like Polacca, established by a new Mexican Tewa rancher who found a home in Northern Arizona. 

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The sweep of First Mesa is brought down to intimate size in the small village of Polacca. 

Located on First Mesa, Polacca takes its name from sheep rancher and acclaimed Tewa (pronounced tay-wah) potter Thomas Polacca. Polacca was the grandson of the world-renowned Hopi potter Nampeyo. The pottery – with finely detailed and deeply carved polychrome designs – is prized by collectors throughout the world and part of the collections of many prominent museums. Artisans in current-day Polacca still produce this stunning pottery.

The Tewa people, originally from the San Juan and San Ildefonso pueblos in New Mexico found refuge on First Mesa after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. They were welcomed by the Hopi people and are now knitted together as one family.

A knowledgeable Hopi guide can help you explore one or more of the mesas, share oral histories, and arrange meeting with village potters – an unforgettable experience sure to be a highlight of a trip to Arizona.

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Just The Facts

For Visitor information

Explore Hopi | PO Box 67 | Second Mesa, AZ | (928) 734-0044 |

County It all started How High? Head Count
Navajo 1680 5,810ft 1,555

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