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|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Arizona)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Arizona)|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Hopi are a federally recognized tribe of Native American people, who primarily live on the 2,531.773 sq mi (6,557.26 km2) Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The Hopi area according to the 2000 census has a population of 6,946 people. The Hopi language is one of the 30 of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
The Hopi Reservation is entirely surrounded by the much larger Navajo Reservation. The two nations used to share the Navajo-Hopi Joint Use Area, but this was a source of conflict. The partition of this area, commonly known as Big Mountain, by Acts of Congress in 1974 and 1996, has also resulted in long-term controversy.
The Hopi and Zuni are believed to have been descended from the ancient Puebloan cultures who constructed large apartment-house complexes in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. They lived along the Mogollon Rim, especially from the AD1100s through the 1300s, when they abandoned their large villages. No researchers have been able to determine the reason, although it is likely that a drying of watercourses would have forced the peoples away.
Oraibi is one of four original Hopi villages, and one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages within the territory of the United States. In the 1540s the village was recorded as having 1,500–3,000 residents.
The first recorded European contact with the Hopi was by the Spanish in 1540. Spanish General Francisco Vásquez de Coronado went to North America to explore the land. While at the Zuni villages, he learned of the Hopi tribe. Coronado dispatched Pedro de Tovar and other members of their party to find the Hopi villages. The Spanish wrote that the first Hopi village they visited was Awatovi. They noted that there were about 16,000 Hopi and Zuni people. A few years later, the Spanish explorer García López de Cárdenas investigated the Rio Grande and met the Hopi. They warmly entertained Cardenas and his men and directed him on his journey.
In 1582–1583 the Hopi were visited by Antonio de Espejo’s expedition. He noted that there were five Hopi villages and around 12,000 Hopi people. During these early years, the Spanish explored and colonized the southwestern region of the New World, but never sent many forces or settlers to the Hopi country. Their visits to the Hopi were random and spread out over many years. Many times the visits were from military explorations.
The Spanish colonized near the Rio Grande and, because the Hopi did not live near rivers that gave access to the Río Grande, the Spanish never left any troops on their land. The Spanish were accompanied by missionaries, Catholic friars. Beginning in 1629, with the arrival of 30 friars in Hopi country, the Franciscan Period started. The Franciscans had missionaries assigned and built a church at Awatovi. The Hopi originally were against conversion to Catholicism. After an incident where Father Porras purportedly restored the sight of a blind youth by placing a cross over his eyes, the Hopi at Awatovi believed in Christianity. Most Hopi in the other villages continued to resist conversion, wanting to maintain their own ways.
Spanish Roman Catholic priests were only marginally successful in converting the Hopi and persecuted them in a draconian manner for adhering to Hopi religious practices. The Spanish occupiers in effect enslaved the Hopi populace, compelling them to endure forced labor and hand over goods and crops. Spanish oppression and attempts to convert the Hopi caused the Hopi over time to become increasingly intolerant towards their occupiers. The only significant conversions were at the pueblo of Awatovi. Eventually in the year 1680 the Rio Grande Pueblo Indians put forward the suggestion to revolt and garnered Hopi support.
The Hopi and Pueblo Revolt was the first time that diverse Pueblo groups had worked in unison to drive out the Spanish colonists. In the Hopi revolt against the Spanish, local Catholic Church missions were attacked, friars and priests were all put to death, and the churches and mission buildings were dismantled stone by stone. It took two decades for the Spanish to reassert their control over the Rio Grande Pueblos but thereafter Spanish influence in the more distant Hopi area was more limited. By 1700, the Spanish friars had begun rebuilding a smaller church at Awatovi. During the winter of 1700–01, selected teams of men from the other Hopi villages sacked Awatovi at the request of the village chief, killed all the men of the village, and removed the women and children to other Hopi villages, then completely destroyed the village and burned it to the ground. Thereafter, despite intermittent attempts in the course of the 17th century, the Spanish failed subsequently to ever re-establish a presence in Hopi country.
In 1849, James S. Calhoun was appointed official Indian agent of Indian Affairs for the Southwest Territory of the U.S. He had headquarters in Santa Fe and was responsible for all of the Indian residents of the area. The first formal meeting between the Hopi and the U.S government occurred in 1850 when seven Hopi leaders made the trip to Santa Fe to meet with Calhoun. They wanted the government to provide protection against the Navajo, an Apachean-language tribe, but distinct from other Apache. At this time, the Hopi leader was Nakwaiyamtewa.
The US established Fort Defiance in 1851 in Arizona, and placed troops in Navajo country to deal with their threats to the Hopi. General James J. Carleton, with the assistance of Kit Carson, was assigned to travel through the area. They “captured” the Navajo natives and forced them to the fort. As a result of the Long Walk of the Navajo, the Hopi enjoyed a short period of peace.
In 1847, Mormons founded Utah and tried to convert the Indians to Mormonism. Jacob Hamblin, a Mormon missionary, first made a trip into Hopi country in 1858. He was on good terms with the Hopi Indians, and in 1875 a LDS Church was built on Hopi land.
In 1875, the English trader Thomas Keams escorted Hopi leaders to meet President Chester A. Arthur in Washington D.C. Loololma, village chief of Oraibi at the time, was very impressed with Washington. As he concluded that education allowed the whites to live that way, he returned wanting a formal school to be built for the Hopi children. In 1886, twenty of the Hopi leaders signed a petition sent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs requesting that a school be built on their land. In 1887, Thomas Keams opened Keams Canyon Boarding School at Keams Canyon for the Hopi children.
The Oraibi people did not support the school and refused to send their children 35 miles (56 km) away from their villages. The Keams School was organized to teach the Hopi youth the ways of European-American civilization: forcing them to use English and give up their traditional ways. The children were forced to abandon their tribal identity and completely take on the European-American culture. They received haircuts, new clothes, took on Anglo names, and learned English. The boys learned farming and carpentry skills, while the girls were taught ironing, sewing and “civilized” dining. Keams School also reinforced American religions. The American Baptist Home Mission Society provided the students with services every morning and religious teachings during the week. In 1890, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs arrived in Hopi country with other government officials to review the progress of the new school. Seeing that few students were enrolled, they returned with federal troops who threatened to arrest the Hopi parents if they refused to send their children to school. The Commissioner took children to fill the school.
The Hopi have always viewed their land as sacred. Agriculture is a very important part of their culture, and their villages are spread out across the northern part of Arizona. The Hopi and the Navajo did not have a conception of land being bounded and divided. They lived on the land that their ancestors did. On December 16, 1882 President Arthur passed an executive order creating a reservation for the Hopi. It was much smaller than the Navajo reservation, which was the largest in the country.
The Hopi reservation was originally a rectangle 55 by 70 miles (110 km), in the middle of the Navajo Reservation, with their village lands taking about half of the land. The reservation prevented encroachment by white settlers, but it did not protect the Hopis against the Navajos.
The Hopi and the Navajo continued to fight over land, and they had different models of sustainability, as the Navajo were sheepherders. Eventually the Hopi went before the Senate Committee of Interior and Insular Affairs to ask them to help provide a solution to the dispute. The tribes argued over around 1,800,000 acres (7,300 km2) of land in northern Arizona. In 1887 the U.S government passed the Dawes Allotment Act. The purpose was to divide up communal tribal land into individual allotments by household, to encourage a model of European-American style subsistence farming on individually owned family plots of 640 acres (2.6 km2) or less. The Department of Interior would declare remaining land "surplus" to the tribe's needs and make it available for purchase by U.S citizens. For the Hopi, the Act would destroy their ability to farm, which was their main means of income. The Bureau of Indian Affairs did not set up land allotments in the Southwest.
The chief of the Oraibi, Lololoma, was very enthusiastic regarding Hopi education, but the people were divided on this issue. Most of the village was conservative and refused to allow their children to attend school. The Indians were referred to as the “hostiles” because they opposed the American government and its attempts to force assimilation. The rest of the Oraibi were called the “friendlies” because of their acceptance of the white people. The “hostiles” refused to let their children attend school. In 1893, the Oraibi Day School was opened in the Oraibi village. Although the school was within the village, the traditional parents still refused to allow their children to attend.
In 1894, a group of Hopi parents announced that they were against the ideas of Washington and did not want their children to be exposed to the culture of the white American people. The government sent in troops to arrest the 19 parents and sent them to Alcatraz Prison, where they stayed for a year. Another Oraibi leader, Lomahongyoma, competed with Lololoma for village leadership. In 1906 the village split after a conflict between Hostiles and Friendlies. The conservative Hostiles left and formed a new village, known as Hotevilla.
At the turn of the century, the U.S government established day schools, missionaries, farming assistants and physicians on every Indian reservation. This policy required that every reservation set up its own Indian-police and Tribal courts, and appoint a chief or leader who would represent their tribe within the U.S government. In 1910 in the Census for Indians, the Hopi Tribe had a total of 2,000 members, which was the highest in 20 years. The Navajo at this time had 22,500 members and have consistently increased in population. During the early years of this century, only about 3% of Hopis lived off the reservation. In 1924 Congress officially declared Native Americans to be U.S citizens.
Under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Hopi established a constitution to create their own tribal government, and in 1936 elected a Tribal Council. The Preamble to the Hopi constitution states that they are a self-governing tribe, focused on working together for peace and agreements between villages in order to preserve the “good things of Hopi life.” The Constitution consists of thirteen different “Articles,” all with a different topic of interest. The articles cover the topics of territory, membership, and organization of their government with a legislative, executive and judicial branch. The rest of the articles discuss the twelve villages recognized by the tribe, lands, elections, Bill of Rights and more.
From the 1940s to the 1970s, the Navajo kept moving their villages closer and closer to Hopi land, causing the Hopi to raise the land issue with the U.S government. This resulted in the establishment of “District 6” which placed a boundary around the Hopi villages on the first, second, and third mesas, thinning the reservation to 501,501 acres (2,029.50 km2). In 1962 the courts issued the “Opinion, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Judgment,” which stated that the U.S government did not grant the Navajo any type of permission to reside on the Hopi Reservation that was declared in 1882; and that the remaining Hopi land was to be shared with the Navajo.
Between 1961–1964, the Hopi tribal council signed leases with the U.S government that allowed for companies to explore and drill for oil, gas and minerals within Hopi country. This drilling brought over 3 million dollars to the Hopi Tribe. In 1974, The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act was passed. It created the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Commission, which forced the relocation of any Hopi or Navajo living on the other’s land. In 1992, the Hopi Reservation was increased to 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2).
The Hopi tribe is federally recognized and headquartered in Kykotsmovi, Arizona. Their current tribal chairperson is Leroy Shingoitewa. The tribal council was established on December 19, 1936, and the current administration is as follows:
The Hopi tribe earns most of its income from natural resources. On the 1,800,000-acre (7,300 km2) reservation, a significant amount of coal is mined yearly. Peabody Western Coal Company is one of the largest coal operations on Hopi land, with long-time permits for continued mining.
The tribe's 2010 operating budget was $21.8 million, and projected mining revenues for 2010 was $12.8 million.
The Hopi Economic Development Corporation is the tribal enterprise tasked with creating diverse, viable economic opportunities. The HEDC oversees the Hopi Cultural Center and Walpi Housing Management. Other HEDC businesses include the Hopi Three Canyon Ranches, between Flagstaff and Winslow; and the 26 Bar Ranch in Eagar; Hopi Travel Plaza in Holbrook; three commercial properties in Flagstaff; and the Kokopelli Inn in Sedona.
Tourism is a source of income, and the tribe's opening of the 100-room Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites in Moenkopi, Arizona, near Tuba City, Arizona, is the second hotel on the reservation. It provides non-Hopi a venue for entertainment, lectures, and educational demonstrations, as well as tours and lodging. The project is expected to support 400 jobs. The tribe operates the Tuuvi Travel Center and Tuuvi Café in Moenkopi.
The name 'Hopi' is a shortened form of their autonym, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu ("The Peaceful People" or "Peaceful Little Ones"). The Hopi Dictionary gives the primary meaning of the word "Hopi" as: "behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite, who adheres to the Hopi way." In the past, Hopi sometimes used the term "Hopi" and its cognates to refer to the Pueblo peoples in general, in contrast to other, more warlike tribes.
Hopi is a concept deeply rooted in the culture's religion, spirituality, and its view of morality and ethics. To be Hopi is to strive toward this concept, which involves a state of total reverence and respect for all things, to be at peace with these things, and to live in accordance with the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator or Caretaker of Earth. The Hopi observe their traditional ceremonies for the benefit of the entire world.
Traditionally, Hopi are organized into matrilineal clans. When a man marries, the children from the relationship are members of his wife's clan. These clan organizations extend across all villages. Children are named by the women of the father's clan. On the twentieth day of a baby's life, the women of the paternal clan gather, each woman bringing a name and a gift for the child. In some cases where many relatives would attend, a child could be given over forty names, for example. The child's parents generally decide the name to be used from these names. Current practice is to either use a non-Hopi or English name or the parent's chosen Hopi name. A person may also change the name upon initiation into one of the religious societies, such as the Kachina society, or with a major life event.
The Hopi practice a complete cycle of traditional ceremonies although not all villages retain or had the complete ceremonial cycle. These ceremonies take place according to the lunar calendar and are observed in each of the Hopi villages. Like other Native American groups, the Hopi have been influenced by Christianity and the missionary work of several Christian denominations. Few have converted enough to Christianity to drop their traditional religious practices.
Traditionally the Hopi are highly skilled micro or subsistence farmers. The Hopi also are part of the wider cash economy; a significant number of Hopi have mainstream jobs; others earn a living by creating high-quality Hopi art, notably the carving of Kachina dolls, the expert crafting of earthenware ceramics, and the design and production of fine jewelry, especially sterling silver.
Traditional Hopi Village of Walpi, c. 1920.
Traditional Hopi Homes, c. 1906, photo by Edward S. Curtis
Hopi girl, photo by Edward S. Curtis
Four young Hopi Indian women grinding grain, c. 1906, photo by Edward S. Curtis
Harry James, "Pages from Hopi History" University of Arizona Press, 1974 Harold Courlander, "Fourth World of the Hopi" University of New Mexico Press, 1987
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