Oraibi Village – Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

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Oraibi Village

Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona

This reclusive Hopi village in Arizona has been continuously populated longer than anywhere else in America. 


The Hopi village of Oraibi has been continuously inhabited since its founding, which is estimated to have been around 1100, and even today the small village holds to their traditional way of living, and they don’t especially appreciate visitors coming by to gawk. 

People have been living in the Arizona village for almost 1,000 years, which probably makes it the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States. As America pushed west in the 1800s, bringing with it a new, modern way of life. In the mid-1800s a divide grew between the Hopi at Oraibi with those who took to the oncoming modernity breaking away from their more fiercely traditionalist brethren. By the latter part of the century, Kykotsmovi Village had been established by those wishing to move closer to the new trading posts, and this new village was colloquially named, “New Oraibi.”

Today Kykotsmovi Village is the seat of the Hopi Tribal Council, however “Old Oraibi” is also still populated by Hopi traditionalists who have changed their way of life very little over the centuries. While the village is not off limits, visitors are not exactly welcomed with open arms, and photography is strictly prohibited. Given the self-imposed information lockdown, figures on the population and daily life are scarce, but seeing as how they have been living life their own way for a thousand years, it must be working out.

Know Before You Go

Located within the third Mesa of the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, off State Route 264 approximately two hours northeast of Flagstaff.

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