How to walk with the Hohokam people in Phoenix, Arizona.
Walk with me, and let's walk with the Hohokam people. If you're anywhere in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area, it's easier than you may think. No, you won't need your cars keys. You won't even need your hiking boots. You can put away the map, and the GPS. We're just going to walk outside.
If you were ever dragged to a museum, or had to go on a field trip, to learn about the Hohokam people, I'm so sorry. Maybe you were handed a brochure about Pueblo Grande, or had to memorize years and dates. That's too bad, and if that's what you're thinking about, I'm going to ask you to forget about that.
The Hohokam were the people lived in the Salt River Valley hundreds of years ago. The only reason that anyone knows anything about them is that they left behind gigantic canals, and huge adobe buildings, all of which are gone now (except for a tiny amount of preservation here and there). I don't know much about the Hohokam, and really, nobody does. The name was given to them by the Pima people, and it simply meant "those who have gone".
But they were here. And not just in the tiny preserved area by a museum. They were on every inch of the Salt River Valley, and more. The city of Phoenix was built on top of the Hohokam ruins. Where you are right now, in the Phoenix Metro area, is Hohokam land. So let's walk.
I won't be going very far today, but we don't have to go far. My gimpy ankle is sore today, and all I can do is take a few steps outside. But I want to walk with the Hohokam people, and I will.
This was their land. This is the sky they looked at, the mountains. From here I can see the White Tank Mountains, but any mountain you can see from the Phoenix Metro area is what they saw. They felt the heat of the desert sun, and the cold of the desert cold, and they did it with bare feet. Take your shoes off, and walk with the Hohokam people.
Thank you for walking with me.
Image at the top of this post: Artist's rendering of how the Hohokam people might have lived, hundreds of years ago. You're looking southeast towards where Tempe is now from about 44th Street and Washington. South Mountain is along the right, with the Salt River flowing in front of it.
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Posted by Brad Hall