Tuba City, Arizona

Encyclopedia Article


Tuba City is located in Coconino County, Arizona on the southern edge of the Kaibito Plateau. This town is one of the largest communities on the Navajo Reservation but it also has a small Hopi population. During the 1870s, Mormons briefly resided in Tuba City. At that time, Mormons named the community after a Hopi headman named Tuvi, who converted to Mormonism. Mormons later sold the town, which they claimed to be their property, to the U.S. Indian Service (in later years known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs). Mormons had been encountering increasing levels of antagonism from the Navajo, the original inhabitants of the area, which may explain why the Mormons sold the town and left the area.

One Navajo word for Tuba City is Tö Naneesdizí, which means “Place of Water Rivulets,” referring to the irrigation ditches used by Mormons during their occupation.

Photo Credit: 

"School bus near Tuba Cuty, AZ, April 16, 2015" by Stefan Woidig is licensed under Public Domain.