Event celebrates Hopi culture , past and present
Arizona Republic
Jul 11, 2008


Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - July 11, 2008

Author: Kylie Gad, The Arizona Republic

The new Arizona quarter depicts the Grand Canyon, the state's most famous landmark.

But Arizona's historical treasures aren't limited to natural phenomena such as canyons and petrified forests. The state also has a rich human history.

This weekend, visitors to Homolovi Ruins State Park, near Winslow, can experience Suvoyuki Day, a celebration of the preservation of the ruins and of Hopi culture , art and traditions.

"Suvoyuki" translates as "accomplishment through a joint effort." The Arizona Archaeological Society, Arizona State Parks and the Hopi people are the partners keeping Homolovi's history alive.

The event kicks off today with a lecture about the Hopi communities and the villages the people created at Homolovi. The speaker is E. Charles Adams, professor of archaeology at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson.

Saturday begins with a traditional sunrise run on either a 6.6- or 3.8-mile course of historical foot trails.

"Running is a big part of our culture ," said Susan Secakuku, manager of the

Homolovi Park Project.

As in traditional Hopi foot races, no prizes will be awarded. Secakuku said Hopi races are not about running for the best time, but for the positive energy of bringing a better life to everyone in the community.

"It's a philosophical and spiritual view of running," Secakuku said.

If you don't want to run, you can cheer on those who do while munching on tuupevu, sweet corn roasted overnight in a pit by Hopi elder Justin Setalla.

Richard Lange, a research specialist at the University of Arizona, will lead two tours of the park's ruins.

"You'll get a full dose of everything we've learned over the last 20-plus years," Lange said.

The ruins comprise seven major ancestral pueblos. The largest, Homolovi II, has more than 1,200 rooms and is several stories tall.

Lange said the ruins were abused by illegal diggers and vandals until Homolovi was designated an Arizona state park in 1986. Suvoyuki Day celebrates that spirit of conservation.

Visitors also can check out demonstrations of five types of Hopi art: kachina carving, silversmithing, weaving, basket making and pottery. Other features include vendors of traditional food, Hopi social dances, educational tours and an archaeology display.

On Sunday, the event moves to Sipaulovi, a Hopi village on a mesa north of the park.

Participants will follow the same migration route as the Homolovi people, and then listen to "Our Story," an oral history of Sipaulovi and the Hopi nation.

The large clan at Sipaulovi has a direct connection to Homolovi, and they want an opportunity to tell that story, Secakuku said.

There also will be a sunrise run, food vendors, lectures and art booths, where visitors can purchase items. Secakuku said that the Sipaulovi event is a great chance to meet Hopi artisans.


Suvoyuki Day

What: Hopi culture festival. Fun run, local artists, traditional food and tours of the ruins at Homolovi Ruins State Park.

When: 7 p.m. today; 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Friday and Saturday at Homolovi Ruins State Park, Sunday at Sipaulovi Village on the Hopi Reservation. Homolovi is about 205 miles from central Phoenix. Take Interstate 17 north to Flagstaff, Interstate 40 east to Exit 257 at Winslow and Arizona 87 north for 1.3 miles to the park's signed entrance. On Saturday, park at the northeastern corner of I-40 and Arizona 87, and ride a shuttle to the park. Sipaulovi is about 60 miles north of Homolovi on Arizona 87, at the junction of Arizona 264 and Arizona 87. Follow signs to the parking area.

Admission: Most events are free. Registration for the Saturday run is $10; the Sunday run is $15.

Lodging: The campground at Homolovi has 52 campsites, restrooms, showers, picnic tables and grills. All sites have water and electric hookups. $19 per night for a site with hookups, $12 per night without. There are hotels in Winslow (3 miles from Homolovi), Holbrook (31 miles) and Flagstaff (63 miles).

Details: 928-289-4106 or


Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Explore Arizona
Page: E1
Dateline: AZ
Record Number: pho106862389