Water and Heritage Shield Award

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A site Sípàapu located in Arizona, United States and sacred to the Hopi Native American Nation has been awarded a ‘Water and Heritage Shield’ by the International Committee On Monuments and Sites International Science Committee

Why in news?

  • The purpose of the Shield is to help the public become aware of the significance of water and indigenous sacred sites all over the world and the right to cultural and historical memory.
  • The Sípàapu is a rocky dome made of limestone as well as a spring located on the Little Colorado river, a tributary of Colorado.
  • Little Colorado joins the main stem of the river within the Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The ancestors of the Hopi dwelled throughout the Grand Canyon before the 1250 Common Era.
  • Little Colorado, especially the confluence, is sacred not only to the Hopi but also to other Native American groups such as the Navajo and Zuni.
  • The Hopi consider the Sípàapu to be the place from where their ancestors emerged from another world into this one.

About International Committee On Monuments and Sites:

  • It is a global non-governmental organization associated with UNESCO.
  • Its mission is to promote the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, building complexes and sites.
  • It is an Advisory Body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO.
  • As such, it reviews the nominations of cultural world heritage and ensures the conservation status of properties.
  • It also contributed to a series of resource manuals jointly prepared by the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Who are the Hopi Tribal people?

  • The Hopi are known as one of the oldest living cultures in documented history, having migrated north to Arizona in the 12th century.


Q1) What is a canyon?

A canyon is a narrow, deep valley cut by a river through rock. Canyons range in size from narrow slits to huge trenches. They have very steep sides and may be thousands of feet deep. Smaller valleys of similar appearance are called gorges.

Source: Environmental stewards: Sacred Hopi site in Arizona awarded ICOMOS Water and Heritage Shield