The Hopi people presently occupy the lands of northeastern Arizona in the high desert located 60 miles north of Winslow, Arizona. This land is dry much of the year until the monsoon rains come in mid-summer, which brings a green tint to the hills and mesas. Even though the soil is mostly sand and the climate is extremely dry, Hopi people have been successful agriculturalists, sustaining themselves on corn, beans, squash, fruit and wild plants. Many of the old Hopi villages are situated on top of high, rocky mesas and contemporary style homes are located below. Hopi people have occupied the mesas for at least one thousand years with Orayvi (Oraibi) being the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. The mesas are situated on Black Mesa, which is just one of many landforms on the Colorado Plateau.
About 6500 Hopi people live on Hopi lands. Many have left the reservation, mostly temporarily, to work or attend school in neighboring towns such as Albuquerque, Flagstaff and Phoenix. Adults work for a variety of village-run programs, for the school system, as members of the U.S. Armed Forces, for the Hopi Tribal government or as artisans and private businesspeople. Hopi children attend one of several elementary schools and most finish their secondary education at Hopi Junior/Senior High School or Tuba City High School. Each of the 12 Hopi villages has its own history, ceremonial cycle, politics and social organization. These 12 villages are: Waalpi (Walpi), Hanoki (Hano or Tewa), Sitsom’ovi (Sichomovi), Musungnuvi (Mishongnovi),Supawlavi (Shipaulovi), Songoopavi (Shungopavi), Kiqötsmovi (Kykotsmovi),Orayvi (Oraibi), Hotvela (Hotevilla), Paaqavi (Bacavi), Atkya Munqapi (Lower Moencopi) and Ooveq Munqapi (Upper Moencopi).