Ancestors of the Hopi (Hisatsinom) lived here for thousands of years. Trade brought seeds of corn and other crops into the region. Hisatsinom lifeways changed from nomadic hunting-and-gathering to farming. They began to build multi-storied stone masonry houses clustered in villages in Tsegi/Lenaytupqa (Flute) Canyon, and Nitsin Canyon.

These ancestral lands remain very important to the Hopi. Keet Seel/Kawestima (the name Hopi use) was inhabited by Fire, Flute, and Bighorn Sheep Clans. Betatakin/Talastima (Place of the Bule Corn Tassels) was home to Deer, Fire, Flute, and Water Clans. Inscription House/Tsu'ovi is a Rattlesnake, Sand, and Lizard Clan village. These places are active spiritual and physical links between the past, the present, and the future.

Some of the large pictographs and petroglyphs in and near these places serve as a calendar, as sunlight at different times of the year casts shadows on them.

Deer Antler and Fire Clan images on wall.
Fire Clan symbol at Betatakin/Talastima

Marc Steuben

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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