PRINT Summer 1988



I HAD A CHOICE on Easter Sunday. It was either a deep draught of religio-pantheism at a dawn mass on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon—a touch of in situ sublimity and à la lettre gorgeousness—or a journey eastward across Arizona’s Navaho and Hopi reservations. Sensing a kind of irresistible incongruity between fattening candles and the chasm, and a craving to avoid the pitfalls of well-intimated spectacular sentimentality, I went east.

Hopiland is inscribed on the map inside the greater Navaho compound, not far from that apogee of territorial rectilinearity and arbitrariness, Four Corners, at the Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona junction. The reservationscape, a vast liquorless tableland of another people’s pa(ma)trimony, carries some of the earliest and most continuously settled sites of pre-Caucasian civilization in North America. If you can think at all in the bleak transit

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