Frequently Asked Questions

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We've recently compiled a list of questions that we receive from time to time, so we thought a FAQ section for the website might help our current customers as well as new visitors to the website. Some of these questions deal with our online operation, while other questions are in regards to the Hopi reservation, ceremonies, and traveling.

We hope the following list is helpful or insightful to you. If you have any suggestions or questions of your own, please let us know!

Frequently Asked Questions:

General Questions

Q: Do you have a layaway program?
Where are you located?
Do you special order?
Do you buy collections or take consignments?
Do you send items on approval?
Do you offer special sales or additional discounts?
What if my item arrives damaged?

Travel Related Questions

Q: Can we visit the Hopi reservation and villages?
Are we allowed to attend ceremonies?
When are the dances held? What is the best time of year to visit?
What should I expect during my visit?
What is general etiquette?
What else is there to do during our trip?



Q: Do you have a layaway program? (return to top)

A: Yes. Our standard terms are 90 days, and we require 1/3 down, with another third in the second month, and the balance during the third month. Special arrangements can be made for large purchases or other extenuating circumstances.

Q: Where are you located? (return to top)

A: Ancient Nations is located in the Crossroads of the West (Northern Utah). We continue to work closely in conjunction with McGee's Indian Art of Keams Canyon, Arizona (on the Hopi Indian Reservation) and other trading partners throughout the Southwest. We offer a variety of Native American art from beadwork to baskets, pottery, kachinas, and rugs.

Q: Do you special order? (return to top)

A: We are always willing to help our customers find exactly what they are looking for. If we do not have the item in our inventory, we can certainly try to have something custom made. Generally this works best with jewelry, and lead times are usually around 4-6 weeks (sometimes less). Kachinas are also a popular special order, while pottery and baskets are not recreated as often.

Q: Do you buy collections or take consignments? (return to top)

A: We believe the secondary market is an important one, both for artists and collectors and we work with both to keep the market moving. With that said, we are always interested in quality items and are willing to evaluate opportunities on a piece by piece basis. Please inquire for consignment terms.

Q: Do you send items on approval? (return to top)

A: While we cannot ship anything on an approval basis, all of our items are satisfaction guaranteed. This means if you are not happy with your purchase for any reason, you may return it for a credit or refund within three days of receipt. Item must be returned in the condition it was sent, and all shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. Broken or damaged items should be reported immediately.

Q: Do you offer special sales or additional discounts? (return to top)

A: Because we buy directly from the artist in most cases, we are able to avoid middle-man markups. As a result, our offerings are already priced below the common retail values found in major metropolitan areas like Scottsdale, Sedona, and Santa Fe. Occasionally we will have special offers made available only to members of our email list - so be sure to join the list and stay tuned!

Q: What if my item arrives damaged? (return to top)

A: If an item arrives damaged or broken, please contact us immediately. All packing material should be kept until the gallery has been notified. Kachinas sometimes require minor touch-ups (which do not affect value or condition). If these or other items are beyond repair, we will gladly accept them returned for a full refund. See our approval policy for "satisfaction guaranteed."


Travel Related Questions

Q: Can we visit the Hopi reservation and villages? (return to top)

A: The Hopi tribe relies on some form of tourism for its economic development. They are happy to have guests, but they are very determined to protect their culture and property. Options range from a casual drive down the highway, stopping at shops along the way, to more in depth experiences requiring the assistance of a guide and/or other more formal instruction. Please feel free to contact us or the Hopi tribe directly with more questions. Nothing makes the art, history, and culture come alive like a visit to the mesas.

Q: Are we allowed to attend ceremonies? (return to top)

A: The Hopi people participate in a series of social and religious ceremonies throughout the year. Some are open to outsiders while others are not. Each village differs with regard to their own policy. Most social dances are open to the public, and some religious ceremonies are open to non-Indians, but all require an understanding of the etiquette expected from guests. For a more detailed explanation, feel free to contact us or the Hopi tribe directly.

Q: When are dances held? What is the best time of year to visit? (return to top)

A: 1) The Hopi ceremonial season is not on a fixed calendar. They follow the lunar cycles and schedule their dances accordingly. Usually a village or clan will announce a dance one or two weeks in advance. It is impossible to know which kachinas will appear or what village is going to put on a dance, but there are general seasons where certain dances take place. For example, the Home Dances are held in the middle of the summer (late July / early August) throughout all of the different villages. Social dances, like the basket dance, are held in October. Bean Dances and other related ceremonies (some of them restricted) are held in February.

2) The best time of year to visit depends on your interests. If you primarily want to see kachina dances but can't stand cold weather, plan to visit during the Home Dances (see #1), if history and culture in general appeal to you, any time is good. Many people think Arizona is HOT, but not at an elevation of 6500 feet! The Hopi reservation ranges from 100 degrees in mid summer to below zero in mid winter. This is a land of extremes, so take note and be prepared.

Q: What should I expect during my visit? (return to top)

A: The following is a laundry list of things you'll encounter during a visit to the rez:

1. Friendly faces welcoming you to their homeland.
2. Craftspeople eager to show you their wares.
3. Shops and galleries showcasing the finest local creations.
4. Roadside vendors offering everything from fresh fruit to pinon seeds, popcorn balls and chili bread.
5. Only one motel located on the Hopi reservation. Everything else is located in nearby border towns.
6. Stray dogs. The majority are harmless, but it always pays to be cautious - especially if you have food.
7. Signs either welcoming you to the village or informing you that a village is closed for ceremonies.
8. A restriction on ALL photography, sketching, and recording. This is strictly prohibited throughout the Hopi reservation. Alcohol is also prohibited on the reservation, so be prepared to forego certain beverages during your visit.
9. Visitor centers at most villages. Check in here to let the village know you are around and receive any special instructions.
10. Ancient architecture and a living culture.
11. Once again, many visitors expect all of Arizona to be as warm as the Phoenix valley. Expect colder temperatures in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. The Hopi reservation is at an elevation of more than 6,000 feet above sea level.

Q: What is general etiquette? (return to top)

A: Try not to be a tourist, but a respectful visitor. Do not take pictures. Do not drive off clearly marked roads. Do not enter buildings or touch anything unless invited to do so. Do not remove objects such as stones, feathers, pot sherds, or other items found on the ground. Dress appropriately. It is a matter of opinion to some, but tank tops, short shorts, hats, head bands, visors, etc. are considered by some Hopi people to be inappropriate while observing dances or ceremonies. Try to be inconspicuous, and lastly - don't ask a lot of questions. Hopi people regard their culture as sacred and if they wish to share the meaning of it with you, they will.

Q. What else is there to do during our trip? (return to top)

A. Indian Country is a vast expanse of desert and mountain range. There are beautiful sights to see at nearly every major junction. The Hopi reservation is surrounded by other tribal lands belonging to the Navajos, Apaches, Paiutes, and others. Some of these areas offer opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, etc. Most visitors stay busy visiting the major landmarks such as trading posts, cliff dwellings, and modern villages. There are also plenty of places to find lodging in and around the reservation - ranging from efficiently priced motels, to more immersive lodges and hotels. Guided tours are often available, and horseback riding is another popular activity in some areas.

The Hopi reservation is only a short drive from these major points of interest:

- Grand Canyon

- Canyon DeChelly

- Zuni Pueblo

- Walnut Canyon

- Flagstaff, Arizona

- Painted Desert

- Meteor Crater

- Acoma Pueblo

- Chaco Canyon

- Gallup, New Mexico

- Lake Powell

- Monument Valley

- Wupatki Ruins

- Window Rock

- Winslow, Arizona


If we've overlooked something, please be sure to contact us with your suggestions or with additional questions!

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