Southwest Ancient Cultures Journey
Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, prehistoric sites, trading posts: in depth & personalized
An authentic, experiential journey with Native American Peoples of the Colorado Plateau… prehistoric and contemporary understandings
Guided journey in Arizona and New Mexico can be arranged for groups with Sandra Cosentino, founder of Crossing Worlds Journeys & Retreats
Independent Traveler option for 1 – 3 people begins with a introductory, in depth seminar in Sedona with history, cosmology, arts, cultural understandings, protocols, and more. I then send you off with maps, resource packet, CD’s with my music collections to explore on your own and meet with Native guides.
|Hopi Mesas and villages
Backcountry: Hopi rock art site, Navajo remote weaver’s hogan
Canyon de Chelly: jeep adventure, prehistoric sites, Navajo homes of today
Historic trading post behind the scenes in New Mexico
Chuska Mountains, Painted Desert
|plus experiences such as–
campfire and blessing circles
jeep ride into rugged canyon
arts, songs, participatory dance
historic Santa Fe railroad inn
places of historical and contemporary interest
striking landscapes: canyons, mesas, volcanic mountains, painted desert
Ancient and contemporary understandings of cultures with roots going back many millenia.
Create memories to carry home in your heart!
Circles with thoughtful interactions, stories, philosophy, inspiration, songs, traditional food meals offer a chance to share life informally with warm-hearted, sincere Native American friends and us, the respectful visitor.
Living for 4 days immersed with Native peoples who still practice their language and traditions provides a wonderful fresh sense of perspective for our own lives.
Move beyond stereotypic images and come to know Indian people as real people walking in two worlds today. What values sustain them? What can we learn from their worldview?
Itineraries are subject to change to take advantage of special seasonal activities, the flow of Native life on the reservations, Native guide availability, weather and group interests. It will be a full schedule each day.
Please be aware: we will travel on some dirt roads and some places where sanitary facilities are limited. We might have to deal with wind, blowing sand, thundershowers. While in Canyon de Chelly or back roads on the reservation we may not have cell phone service. This is mostly a driving tour with some opportunities for walks in villages and canyon bottoms or rims.
Hopi: Holders of Ancient Tradition
Hopi are respected and known around the world as a people who dedicate their life to maintaining balance for Mother Earth and all peoples. We will visit mesas, villages and homes. Get to know people who live in both their ancient world and the American world of today. This is not just a tour, but a real and personal time with sincere, reverent and warmhearted people. You will meet people whose life revolves around the ancient Hopi traditions. They allow us to participate in their seasonal activities, go out on the land, into villages and homes.
You absorb an essence, make personal connections in informal discussions on Hopi life, ceremonial cycle, importance of nature and corn and topics of concern right here and now. These direct experiences fill you with a sense of how prayer, reverence and connection to nature as a living presence imbues all aspects of life.
Stoically maintaining traditional ways of thought, family, and religion even in the face of so much change, these mindful people are seeking ways to balance these traditions with issues they face about preservation of lands and their ancient way of life while living in the world of today. We will have meaningful discussions about our Western culture role in their life with our hosts. In past gatherings, such thoughtful interactions helped all of us feel our human bonds that cross cultural boundaries. We come as the welcomed, respectful and respected visitor and leave being part of a circle of friends fresh with inspiration for our own life.
We learn of the importance of renewing life and growing corn as the center of the ceremonial cycle. Year round, traditional activities take places in the villages. When available, we will respectfully attend.
Hopi artists will show you their Kachina carvings, silver overlay jewelry, baskets and pottery and discuss their symbolism and the craft of making this beautiful art. You will have the opportunity to purchase art direct from artists if you so choose at great prices.
We will see a large ancestral rock art site in the Hopi back country (if permits are available). This intriguing petroglyph looks like a planetary map with beings coming from other worlds.
“Their existence always has been patterned upon the universal plan of world creation and maintenance,
and their progress on the evolutionary Road of Life depends upon the unbroken observance of its laws.
In turn, the purpose of their religious cermonialism is to help maintain the harmony of the universe.”
Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi
Navajo: Hardy Peoples of the Land
Experience Navajo peoples, lands and culture in the Chinle, Crown Point and Window Rock areas–heart of the Navajo Reservation today, hear their stories and songs and feel their blessings and experience this dynamic earth-based culture with roots in ancient tradition. Learn about Navajo cosmololgy, migration to this land.
–Rim views into Canyon de Chelly cliff dwelling site and jeep tour into both branches of this spectacular canyon for a true backcountry adventure and a close look at prehistoric rock art, cliff dwellings and Navajo homes and livestock of today
–learn about the art of Navajo weaving and the philosophy of life that underlies this ancient craft at a remote hogan and an historical trading post in Gallup behind the scenes, Navajo arts.
–Window Rock, the Navajo Nation capitol and code talker monument
–sandpainting demonstration and fire blessing
If time allows in schedule, option to drive over the Chuska Mountains to see historical trading posts that still serve their communities today and are centers of preservation of high quality traditional Navajo rug weaving.
We will have discussions on lifestyles, ways of making a living, current issues, ceremonial life, preserving culture.
A Navajo spiritual leader will offer a sand painting demonstration and Navajo songs in a soft, natural way that carries us into another time. He will also do a fire blessing ceremony for us.
Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico
Zuni Pueblo is the largest of the nineteen New Mexican Pueblos, with more than 700 square miles and a population of over 11,000. They are considered the most traditional of all the New Mexico Pueblos, with a unique language, culture, and history that resulted in part from their geographic isolation on the western edge of New Mexico. Zunis are known worldwide as superior artists and craftspeople. They are particularly well known for their silver jewelry inlaid with turquoise and coral and shell, fetish carvings, carved wooden furniture and pottery.
We will have a traditional food lunch in a private home, visit the old plaza in Halona and the restored Spanish mission church famous for its life size Zuni Kachina murals painted on the walls. Option to go with a Zuni guide to the prehistoric site of Hawikuh, the fateful place of the first Spanish entrada into the Southwest as they were seeking unbelievably rich Seven Cities of Cibola.
Other Cultural Journeys:
Hopi 1-day Journey
Hopi 2-day Journey
Independent Travel Option
Hopi-Navajo Spirit Journey
Some pertinent articles in our Blog:
–Native Infusion-Exploring how respectful interactions between cultures can engender fresh perspectives.
–Navajo Weaver interview
–Siberians Come to Hopi & Navajo Lands
–Hopi Cycle of the Year
–Hopi Kachina doll information
–Hopi Poems, Photos and Essay
“Your journey was the highlight of our vacation, and surely the most fulfilling and spiritual experience I have ever encountered. The Hopis have touched my soul and I will always have a piece of them in my heart. I wish every person could have the opportunity to delve into their world and culture, I think it would shed light on the ability for peacefulness among mankind, and remind everyone that there is more to life than what we can obtain materialistically, The true completeness lies in the fulfillment of the spirit…..at one with nature. remembering how very small we are in this world.”
Glenn, New York, August, 2001, 2-day Hopi journey
“I want to thank you for the great experience you gave us on our trip in the Hopi reservation. Our expectations were exceeded. Quickly all of us realized we had hired a very legitimate, experienced guide who knew the people well. That was one of the most important, if not the most important, considerations for us in choosing a guide, and we were glad that you were in fact an expert. It seemed the people we met enjoyed giving us something to take away beyond the basic exchange, and that was wonderful. We had nice conversations and it added significant depth to our experience of Hopi; we were participating rather than just looking in. And we saw much more than we could have without a guide. I would highly recommend Sandra as a Hopi guide to other groups. It quickly became clear that Sandra has real personal relationships with the Hopi people she knows. She was able to guide us through the reservation, and put together a program that was special and unique. The people she introduced us to were welcoming and opened up to us some things you just can’t read about in a book.” Jered Stoehr, Arnaud and Ann, California and Netherlands, 2007