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National Historic Landmark AWATOVI

Location: Navajo County, on the southern tip of Antelope Mesa, about 8 miles south of Keams Canyon.

Ownership and Administration. Hopi Indians.

Significance. Awatovi was the first of the Hopi villages to be visited by the Spanish and the first to capitulate. Then one of the largest and most important of the villages, it had been in existence for about 450 years. The first European visitor, in 1540, was Pedro de Tovar, whom Coronado dispatched to the Hopi villages a week after the capture of Hawikuh. A skirmish occurred when Tovar arrived, but the inhabitants quickly sued for peace and offered presents of cloth, skins, turquoise, and maize. The five remaining pueblos then offered fealty to the King of Spain. Tovar returned to Hawikuh and reported to Coronado what the Hopis had told him of a great river to the west where giants lived. Coronado immediately sent out a party under García López de C%aacute;rdenas, whom the Hopis provided with supplies and guides. The party visited the Colorado River, but found no giants.

The Spanish did not visit Tusayan (Hopiland) again until 1583, when the Antonio de Espejo expedition spent several days at the Hopi villages before turning southwest to the Verde Valley. Don Juan de Oñate, in 1598, found the Hopis ready to capitulate formally to the King of Spain. Oñate visited the pueblos again in 1605, and Capt. Gerónimo Marquez in 1614, but not until 1629 did the Spanish make any substantial missionary effort among the Hopis.

From then until the Pueblo rebellion of 1680, during which time Awatovi was under Franciscan tutelage, it had little contact with the Spanish military and no direct contact with Spanish settlements. The Hopis expected reprisals for participating in the 1680 rebellion, but none came. When Diego de Vargas, the reconqueror, arrived in 1692, the Hopis reswore their allegiance to Spain, and he departed without incident.

In 1699, the Christian faction among the Hopis, probably residents of Awatovi, sent a delegation to Santa Fe to ask for missionaries. They offered to rebuild their mission. Three Spanish priests then made a brief visit to Awatovi. They reported that most of the Hopis were hostile and would not listen to them, and they also recommended that a garrison be posted at Awatovi to protect the Christian Indians from the other Hopis. Soon thereafter, Fray Juan de Garaycoechéa was well received at Awatovi and baptized 73 children. He was induced not to try to visit the other villages, however, and Awatovi's reception of him marked its doom. Near the end of 1700, the other Hopis sacked and destroyed the pueblo, killed all the men, and redistributed the women and children among the other villages. The site was never reoccupied.

Present Appearance. Little remains today of the three church structures except parts of the friary associated with the second church, built of sandstone, which are visible, as are parts of the sandstone masonry pueblo. Dr. J. O. Brew, of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, excavated the site between 1935 and 1939. He uncovered a large amount of aboriginal material—such as pottery and stone and bone artifacts—but only a few fragments of porcelain, metal, or other Spanish materials. The fields and gardens near Awatovi are cultivated today by the descendants of the women and children who survived the destruction of the village in 1700. They live at the First and Second Mesa pueblos. [3]

NHL Designation: 07/19/64

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005