• Name: Paul McLerran
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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Archaeological Tour: Viewing Prehistory from the Hopi Perspective

If you have taken an educational tour of a native American archaeological site in the American Southwest, your tour guide was most likely a National Park Ranger or a trained, Anglo-American professional archaeologist. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But you were missing something.......The unique cultural/historical perspective of a Native American. I say this because the way they view their history and the material ruins of their past can be quite different than the canned, albeit very "scientific" view you get from the conventionally educated tour guide.

If you are interested in a different perspective, you may want to try Hopi Tours. It is a Hopi-owned and operated business organized by a native-born professional Hopi anthropologist (Micah Loma'omvaya) and Hopi colleagues. Their objective is to help you understand the ancient history of the Southwest ruins and people, as the Hopi see it. It is a relatively inexpensive cultural experience and a chance to tour ancient ruins through the eyes of the ancient inhabitants' descendants. In addition, part of the tour proceeds are invested toward developing a Hopi Natural Resources Center, for research and education in Hopi ethnobiology, sustainable Hopi land management, and traditional farming and Hopi arts and crafts preservation for their future generations.

It's nice to know that, while we are enriching ourselves and enjoying the vacation, we are making a contribution to sustaining an indigenous American culture.

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