Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre

Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre

James F. Brooks


A scrupulously researched research of the mysterious bloodbath of Hopi Indians at Awat'ovi, and the event's echo via American history.

The Hopi neighborhood of Awat’ovi existed peacefully on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa for generations until eventually one bleak morning within the fall of 1700―raiders from within sight Hopi villages descended on Awat’ovi, slaughtering their neighboring males, ladies, and kids. whereas little of the pueblo itself is still, 5 centuries of historical past lie underneath the low rises of sandstone masonry, and theories in regards to the occasions of that evening are as power because the wilderness winds. The easternmost city on Antelope Mesa, Awat’ovi used to be popular for its martial power, and were the gateway to the complete Hopi panorama for hundreds of years. Why did kinsmen goal it for destruction?

Drawing on oral traditions, archival bills, and huge archaeological study, James Brooks unravels the tale and its importance. Mesa of Sorrows follows the development of an archaeological excursion, uncovering layer after layer of proof and theories. Brooks questions their reliability and exhibits how interpretations have been formed by way of educational, spiritual and tribal politics. Piecing jointly 3 centuries of research, he bargains perception into why a few have been spared―women, usually, and brought captive―and others sacrificed. He weighs theories that the assault was once in retribution for Awat’ovi having welcomed Franciscan missionaries or for the citizens’ perform of sorcery, and argues ideal typhoon of inner and exterior crises revitalized an historical cycle of formality bloodshed and purification.

A haunting account of a surprising bloodbath, Mesa of Sorrows is a probing exploration of ways societies confront painful histories, and why communal violence nonetheless plagues us today.

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