History, Department of


Date of this Version

September 2008


Published in Hopi Nation: Essays on Indigenous Art, Culture, History, and Law, edited by Edna Glenn, John R. Wunder, Willard Hughes Rollings, and C. L. Martin (Lincoln, NE: UNL Digital Commons, 2008). Copyright © 2008 the Estate of Edna Glenn, Willard Hughes Rollings, Abbott Sekaquaptewa, Barton Wright, Michael Kabotie, Terrance Talaswaima, Alice Schlegel, Robert H. Ames, Peter Iverson, and John R. Wunder. All images and artwork are copyright by the individual artists; for a listing see pages 9-14.


A visual challenge results from experiences with original works of art reproduced on these pages. These are contemporary Hopi paintings and craft-works executed by young artists who call themselves the Artist Hopid. Coochsiwukioma (Delbridge Honanie), a painter of the Artist Hopid group, presents a view of “Hopi Life,” the title of an extremely complicated work completed in 1974. Examining this painting is indeed valuable in the pursuit of defining the contemporary HOPI. “Hopi Life,” according to its painter, symbolically evolves from the central theme of Hopi migrations. 6 Ideas of migration, fertility, and growth, structure the centuries-old concept of Hopi life. This painting, a compendious outlay of ideas and symbols, stretching to a painted expanse of some nine feet, is in itself a celebration and a ceremony.

The contemporary challenge is a collective one, a summoning of all people, Hopi and non-Hopi, to share with intelligence and concern the problematic times, to share with joy and vision the times of ceremony and celebration.