An excerpt by Lyle Balenquah on "Hisatsinom": The Ancient People
Hopi concepts of our ancestral history are both complex and varying. This is because each Hopi clan has its own understanding of their ancestral movements across the southwest and beyond. Not all clans moved in the same directions, at the same time, or with the same groups. As one Hopi cultural advisor, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained "..migration routes can be confusing because sometimes the ancestors started somewhere and then went in a circle and came back to where they started". In addition, the specific cultural groups assigned to Hopi ancestors by archaeologists (Anasazi, Sinagua, Hohokam, Mogollon, Salado, Fremont, etc) are considered arbitrary within a Hopi perspective of the past. Rather than viewing them as neatly defined cultures with specific territorial boundaries, Hopi people view their ancestors as being much more dynamic and fluid, with numerous clans, comprising the ancestral populations found throughout the southwest.
Unlike archaeological cultural designations that confine a group to a certain area and assign them to a specific time period,"prehistoric", the Hopi concept of our ancestors does not imply that type of finality to their existence or presence. Hopi concepts of our ancestors evoke a connection that extends to the present. And unlike the science of archaeology, which is largely focused solely on the material objects and features left behind by Hopi ancestors, Hopi understanding of our past have the added dimension of a continual connection to spiritual aspects which are embedded within the material culture. The material found at these sites are reminders and reflections of who we once were and what we have now become. We are reminded that in order for the present generations of Hopi to flourish and prosper, we are dependent upon gifts of our departed ancestors. These sites hold spirits that live and thrive. They play essential roles in ceremonies that bring rain, fertility, and other blessings for the Hopi people and those throughout the world. Meanings of the past is what it contributes to life in the present. This understanding provides a continual connection with our identity and ancestors.