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Leaving Wupatki

20_pic.jpg Wupatki Pueblo and Surrounding FeaturesThumbnailsLiving and Storage Rooms

Villages like Wupatki were purposely settled and left for reasons we may never fully understand. After roughly 150 years here, maybe life ceased to be good. Perhaps the rumor of a better life in another village was worth investigating. Maybe, as some Hopi believe, the people stayed too long here and failed to lead moral and responsible lives. Ensuing social and environmental catastrophes were signals to resume migrations to find and settle the place where Hopi live to this day.

By 1300, across the region people had moved into villages even larger than Wupatki. Those living here joined others at places like Homol'ovi along the Little Colorado River (near present day Winslow, Arizona) or at villages south of Walnut Canyon. According to clan histories, some went directly east to the Hopi Mesas. A few undoubtedly chose to stay behind.

Today this village rests silent but not forgotten. Though it is no longer physically occupied, Hopi and Zuni people believe those who lived and died here remain as spiritual guardians. Descendants visit periodically to enrich their personal understanding of their clan histories. Wupatki is remembered and cared for, not abandoned.

"...for us life is shrouded in mystery and the world defies explanation...humans do not need to know everything there is to be known. The human past, we feel, is a universal past. No one can claim it, and no one can ever know it completely." -Rina Swentzell, Pueblo Santa Clara

Dan Boone/Ryan Belnap, Bilby Research Center, Northern Arizona University
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