I pulled into a parking lot outside Old Oraibi and a small building with an “Open” sign.
The art shop I had been told about at the cultural center.
Let me tell you, I’ve never been so intimidated.
I almost left.
I knew I was going to be the only one inside, which is intimidating enough for me, but I had also read up on the many rules of these villages at the cultural center.
Ask permission before entering. Don’t intrude on a private ceremony. Absolutely no photos or recordings of any kind. Stay on the main streets. Do not deviate onto foot paths.
It sounded like these people really don’t want visitors, and I don’t blame them. They live here.
I felt like an intruder.
I did not want to open that door.
But these days I’m taking a page out of Teddy Roosevelt’s book and doing the things that scare me.
So I sucked it up and opened that door.
…and had a very pleasant conversation with Eric (hope I spelled that right), who makes some absolutely amazingly detailed and beautiful artwork.
He told me that I could drive down into the village and someone would come out and talk to me.
So, deep breath, and down the street I went!