Hopi Tales of Destruction

By Ekkehart Malotki; Lorena Lomatuway'Ma et al. | Go to book overview

SEVEN

The Annihilation of Awat'ovi

INTRODUCTION

Of the seven pueblos portrayed in the legendary accounts of this collection, Awat'ovi stands apart in that its destruction occurred in historic times and is datable with a high degree of accuracy. 1 Located some nine miles southwest of Keams Canyon, Arizona, along the eastern edge of Antelope Mesa not far from its southernmost point, Awat'ovi was probably the largest and most populous of all the Jeddito villages that once flourished in this part of Hopiland. 2

The town's name, which literally means “Bow High Place, ” apparently owed its origin to the Aawatngyam (Bow clan people), who, according to Fewkes, were the most prominent and influential of its founding clans (1893:363).

Perhaps no other ancient Hopi village now in ruins is mentioned with greater frequency in historic documents and in the published literature. For the Spanish conquistadores arriving from Mexico, Awat'ovi constituted the gateway to the province of Tusayan, their appellation for the Hopi country. No wonder then that the town became intimately linked with many of the major events precipitated by the Spanish presence in the Southwest. The following synopsis of some of these events, as they were of particular concern to Awat'ovi, is based on information compiled in the writings of Hargrave (1935:17—18), Montgomery et al. (1949:1—43), and Harry C. James (1974:33—64).

Awat'ovi was initially discovered in 1540 by a contingent of the Coronado Expedition under Pedro de Tovar. This first encounter with the white- faced strangers from Spain and their accompanying “man-beasts” (men on horseback) must have been traumatic for the residents of Awat'ovi. 3 That same year the pueblo experienced a second visit by the Kastiilam (Castilians), as the Spaniards came to be referred to by the Hopi. This time,

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Hopi Tales of Destruction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Hopi Tales of Destruction *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • One - Hisatsongoopavi: Devastation by Earthquake *
  • Two - The Downfall of Qa'ötaqtipu *
  • Three - Pivanhonkyapi: Destruction by Fire *
  • Four - The Demise of Sikyatki *
  • Five - The Abandonment of Huk'Ovi *
  • Six - The End of Hovi'Itstuyqa *
  • Seven - The Annihilation of Awat'Ovi *
  • Glossary *
  • Bibliography *
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