Walpi, Arizona

Encyclopedia Article


Walpi is one of three villages located on First Mesa within the larger network and community of the Hopi people spread out across the three mesas within Black Mesa, Arizona. In Hopi, the name means "place of the gap," which refers to a notch in the nearby mesa. It is the southernmost pueblo village on First Mesa, which also includes the villages of Sichomovi and Hano (or Tewa). The area of all three mesas makes up the Hopi reservation. Each of the mesas has its own cultural and spiritual significance to the Hopi people, and similarly, each village maintains its own traditions and rituals even while there is overlap among them.

Walpi was established in approximately 900 AD as the original, founding Hopi village. The inhabitants of the village still maintain traditional practices, for example living without electricity and running water. Following a 1680 revolt, the two other villages on First Mesa were established. Tourists can currently take walking tours of Walpi, since the Hopi have opened up their villages for visitors, after many years of resisting tourism.

Photo Credit: 

" Hopi Village of Walpi- Arizona," photograph, Josef Muench Collection (NAU.PH.2003.11.9.E8173). Special Collections and Archives, Cline Library, Northern Arizona University.

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