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Sipapu is a Hopi word for a small hole or indentation in the floor of a kiva or pithouse. Kivas were used by the Ancestral Puebloans and continue to be used by modern-day Puebloans. The sipapu symbolizes the portal through which their ancient ancestors first emerged to enter the present world.
Hopi mythology (and similar traditions in other Pueblo cultures such as the Zuni and Acoma) states that this is the hole from which the first peoples of this world entered. As they stepped outside of the sipapu, they changed from lizard-like beings into Homo sapiens, or human form (See Waters, 1963, and later reprints; Courlander, 1971). It is from this point that the "First Peoples" of the Earth began to divide and separate, creating differing tribes along the first journeys of the first humans. The original sipapu is said to be located in the Grand Canyon.
- Waters, F. (1963). "Book of the Hopis". New York: Penguin Group.
- Courlander, H. (1971). "The Fourth World of the Hopis." Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press.
- Sando, Joe S. (1982) The Pueblo Indians. San Francisco: Indian Historian Press
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