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An Overview Of The Hopi Indians.

4185 words - 17 pages

In the area that is known now as eastern Arizona there is a culture that has lived in the area for at least 1,000 years and perhaps longer. They are the Hopi. They are pueblo Indians who live on three separate mesas (Stephen 1936a: xxvii). The First or East Mesa has three villages. (The term village does not necessarily connote what a European would have thought of as village, it is an area where some have chosen to settle in order to maintain balance.) On the First Mesa are the villages of Walpi, Sichomovi, and Tewa (Stephen 1936a: xxvii). Sichomovi is considered a suburb of Walpi. Tewa is a new settlement compared the others. They were native peoples who moved to assist the Hopi during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 (Stephen 1936a: xxvii). On the Second or Middle Mesa there are three villages which are called Misho`ninovi, Shuno`povi, and Shipau`lovi (Stephen 1936a: xxvii). The Third or West Mesa contains the oldest settlement in the Hopi civilization, Oraibi. It was the only settlement on the Third Mesa until 1906, when after population growth Hotavila and Pokabi were also settled (Stephen 1936a: xxvii).These native desert peoples were known for as being sedentary as well as their farming techniques. Before domesticated animals and cultivated crops a family had to use what it could survive (O'Kane 1953: 59). In fact the Hopi economy was still entirely based on primitive native resources up until the 19th century when they started to rely on traders (O'Kane 1953: 59). Through the technique of dry farming and irrigation, the Hopi could live in the desert by manipulating flood waters either to their fields or elsewhere to prevent erosion (Ellis & Colton 1974: 71). They obtained their waters for crops from rainfall, underground water supplies and surface runoff that seeped into the porous soils (Ellis & Colton 1974: 79). Their most prized possession was water, and the Hopi people were very well known for their efforts in conserving it (Ellis & Colton 1974: 71). The typicial Hopi crops consisted of corn, peaches, apples, apricots, melons, beans, and other garden vegetables (Ellis & Colton 1974: 84). However the Hopi were not completely dependent on agriculture for their food. They did hunt small game when it was available. The hides of the animal was used for clothes, as well wild plants helped supplement their diet (O'Kane 1953: 59). All in all the Hopi can be described as peaceful, sedentary, self-supporting, and "moral" (Ellis & Colton 1974: 48).When describing the concept of the Hopi pueblo, the terms town or village are irrelevant. To the Hopi, the European concept of "bigger is better" does not apply, as when one thinks of cities and how they are a center of life in the European world. The main philosophy of the Hopi is "balance is best" (Connelly 1980: 51). The first Hopi pueblos were primarily built of stones, which were a copious resource. They were able to build primitive but functional walls (O'Kane 1953: 59). Later, the...

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