• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Hopi Heritage at the Inn

colorful Hopi sun face surrounded by feathers

A Tawa mural represents the sun rising on the eastern wall of the Lunch Room.

Photo by Marge Post/NPS

In 1948 Painted Desert Inn was the park's northern headquarters, featuring a shop and restaurant operated by the Fred Harvey Company. Mary Colter, the company's architect and interior designer, was tasked with remodeling the Inn. She hired Fred Kabotie, a Hopi Indian artist, to paint murals in the lunch room and dining room. His work reflects the Hopi ties to this region.

 
colorful male and female dancers

Buffalo Dance mural in lunch room.

Photo by Marge Post/NPS

The lunch room features a Buffalo Dance mural. This ceremony is performed by the Hopi in January to pray for good hunting and snow. A similar dance may have taken place in the plaza at the ancient Puerco Pueblo within the park.
 
all the colors of the rainbow are used in this mural

A Planting mural on the western wall of the dining room.

Photo by Marge Post/NPS

The mood changes in the dining room. Several murals are similar in style to those found in kivas (ceremonial rooms). They feature important Hopi symbols, such as corn, rain, eagles, and the sacred peaks near Flagstaff.
 
a zigzag path takes two young men from the Hopi mesas to the Zuni Salt Lake and back.

Salt Lake mural on the eastern dining room wall.

Photo by Marge Post/NPS

The Salt Lake mural tells the story of two young Hopi men as they walk 230 miles round trip from their home to the Zuni mesas, passing through what is now Petrified Forest National Park, on a salt collecting journey. It was not only a physical journey; it was also a sacred journey.

The murals tie the ancestral Puebloan people of the region to the Hopi people of the 1940s and today. While Painted Desert Inn gained status as a National Historic Landmark primarily due to its architecture, the murals of Fred Kabotie made a significant impact on the nomination. The murals offer life within the quiet rooms of the Inn.

Did You Know?

petroglyphs

In additon to the world class fossil record at Petrified Forest National Park, archeological resources are so abundant and so significant that they could stand alone within their own park!