Awatovi, Arizona

Encyclopedia Article


An ancient Hopi village, Awatovi's ruins are now a site of archeological research and a National Historic Landmark. The site is located on the Hopi Indian Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The village was a small settlement that was occupied by several Pueblo groups since the 14th century, and was one of the first Hopi villages to be conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century. In 1629, a Catholic mission was built in the village. Despite coerced conversion efforts, the Hopi secretly maintained and practiced their traditional beliefs, language, and rituals. While a small part of the Hopi population accepted Christianity and adapted to European conquest the majority adamantly resisted, holding on to the traditional indigenous lifestyle and belief system. The split led to increasing tensions and violence erupted in 1700 when the traditionalists attacked the mission and the village of Awatovi destroying its buildings, killing many of its residents, and dispersing the survivors among neighboring villages. The site has remained uninhabited ever since.

Photo Credit: 

"View of the Awatovi Ruins, northeastern Arizona, 1937" by National Park Service is licensed under Public Domain.

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