Visiting The Hopi Mesas with Eugene Sekaquaptewa

By Mary Lou Skinner Ross

The final day of the study tour, a visit to the Hopi had a character all its own. There is a power and beauty of the mesas, plains and land that is somber, difficult, monotonous, hypnotic and ancient. The wind blew for us most of the way, hiding much with dust, battering and tearing at our bodies. People and places that withstand such forces move one to deep respect. The brief exposure to the wisdom of our Hopi guide was significant. Our visit to a Hopi school was moving as we learned about the Hopi teaching their children to survive in two worlds, holding the values and ways of the past, and honoring them, as well as choosing to understand the new technologies and ways that will affect the lives of all. The rhythm of the people and the sacred earth is deliberate. To truly honor and absorb the experiences of sacred places we must let the land be our guide. We must allow sufficient time to be attentive in our experiences.


Mary Lou Skinner Ross was an elder in her 80s when she participated in one of the first Sacred Sites International Study Tours. She was a retired health educator with the U.S. Public Health Service. She was the author of a book, “Thoughts While Ironing,” and she was deeply concerned about respecting and preserving the environment and all living things