Well, I went back! So glad I took another tour with this company because I just participated in things I would never have been able to do. This time I went to Hopi land and it was like time travel. The Hopi have been on the Mesas for about 1400 years (I now know) and even though their reservation is surrounded by Navajo lands and all the big destinations for tourists like Grand Canyon and Monument Valley (which overshadow the Hopi people), their special ways and beliefs and their dedication to preservation and keeping some things private really touched me.
I LIKED that I couldn't take photos of some places, or that I might ask questions they wouldn't tell me the answer to. And I LOVED that my Go Native America guide was always ready with advice and 'etiquette' information. For example there was a dance in one of the villages and my instinct as an interested traveler would have been to worm through to the front for a better view, but once I was told that to do that is considered really rude and that the villagers are supposed to take presidence over visitors I was glad to stand back, crane my neck and enjoy these almost unworldly dancers and their music. It was a privilege to go. I wouldn't have gone by myself, but it was an open dance and it was something I'll never forget.
I went to all three Mesas, to Walpi, to Oraibi, Shungopovi and saw some really interesting petroglyphs too. I bought a kachina doll direct from an artist who explained every single symbol on the doll. It was just fantastic.
Tip: If you go and you get to the Cultural Center on 2nd Mesa, don't miss their blue corn fry bread burger. I don't doubt it is unhealthy and fattening, but oh my, so worth it.