Archive for November, 2010

Hopi scholars publish articles

I am pleased to report that Hopi scholars Sheilah E. Nicholas of the University of Arizona and Lomayumtewa C. Ishii of Northern Arizona University recently published the following articles:

Nicholas, Sheilah E., “Language, Epistemology, and Cultural Identity: ‘Hopiqatsit Aw Unanguakiwyungwa‘ (‘They Have Their Heart in the Hopi Way of Life’)”, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 2010, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 125-144.

This article provides an in-depth “on the ground” look at the Hopi language shift—“becoming accustomed to speaking English”—through the lenses of the study participants who represent the youth, parent, and grandparent generations. The article also gives attention to Hopi oral tradition and the Hopi identity-formation process in order to articulate the link among language, epistemology, and identity, spotlighting what of the traditions, practices, and religion remain salient and why they remain salient. [p. 127]

Ishii, Lomayumtewa C., “Western Science Comes to the Hopis: Critically Deconstructing the Origins of an Imperialist Canon,” Wicazo Sa Review, Fall 2010, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 65-88.

The number of western texts written about Hopi culture is enormous. The work of Jesse Walter Fewkes, beginning in the 1890s, marks a key starting point in the articulation of a western perspective of Hopi culture, initiating a canon rooted in nineteenth-century anthropological thought. Fewkes’s work also illustrates how the establishment of a “cultural archive” was pragmatically related to his research, which included excavations of Hopi sites (notably the village of Awatovi), as well as through his personal commentary. This article examines nineteenth-century anthropological theory, Fewkes’s employment of that theoretical orientation, and how his work established the foundation of a “cultural archive” that constitutes a canon in the study of Hopi culture. But more importantly, by critically reading these texts a decolonization process reveals a western imperialistic mind at work. [p. 65]

Urban Indians in Phoenix Schools, 1940-2000 by Stephen Kent Amerman

Image courtesy of University of Nebraska Press

Stephen Kent Amerman, an associate professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University, has published a book entitled Urban Indians in Phoenix Schools, 1940-2000. His book is part of the Indigenous Education Series with the University of Nebraska Press. Various studies have been written on the educational experiences of American Indian people. However, much of this literature has tended to focus on the Indian boarding school experience during the so-called assimilation period. Recent studies, such as Taos/Dine scholar Glenabah Martinez’s monograph, Native Pride: The Politics of Curriculum and Instruction in an Urban Public School and Amerman’s book, fill a major gap in the literature on the experiences of Native students who attended public high schools. Amerman also writes about Hopis who went to Phoenix urban schools, which is a topic not often examined by scholars of Hopi and Indian education history. Below is a brief synopsis of the book from the University of Nebraska Press website.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

In the latter half of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of Native American families moved to cities across the United States, some via the government relocation program and some on their own. In the cities, they encountered new forms of work, entertainment, housing, and education. In this study, Stephen Kent Amerman focuses on the educational experiences of Native students in urban schools in Phoenix, Arizona, a city with one of the largest urban Indian communities in the nation. The educational experiences of Native students in Phoenix varied over time and even in different parts of the city, but interactions with other ethnic groups and the experience of being a minority for the first time presented distinctive challenges and opportunities for Native students.
Using oral histories as well as written records, Amerman examines how Phoenix schools tried to educate and assimilate Native students alongside Hispanic, Asian, black, and white students and how Native children, their parents, and the Indian community at large responded to this new urban education and the question of their cultural identity. Reconciling these pressures was a struggle, but many found resourceful responses, charting paths that enabled them to acquire an urban education while still remaining Indian.
Stephen Kent Amerman is an associate professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. His articles have appeared in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, American Indian Quarterly, and Journal of Arizona History.

Thanksgiving Day 2010

On this Thanksgiving Day 2010, I am thankful for all the people who have visited my blog in the past year. Since I launched BEYOND THE MESAS in November 2009, the blog has received 13,070 “hits” and readers have posted 104 comments on 68 posts. The most visited posts this year have been about Hopi policies on photography, Hopi runners, and Hopi educator Polingaysi Qoyawayma.

Kwakwha, (“Thank you”)

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Hopi children’s books at Walnut Canyon National Monument

Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

This past summer I took my family to Walnut Canyon National Monument in northern Arizona. When we entered the visitor center gift shop, my girls immediately ran to the shelves with children’s books and “oohed” and “aahed” over the glossy pages with colorful illustrations. At least half of the books in the gift shop were for young readers, and some of them were on the Hopi.

At Walnut Canyon, park officials mostly had books about the Hopi that non-Hopi people wrote. One of these books was Heather Irbinskas The Lost Kachina. While The Lost Kachina was written by a non-Hopi, the book was illustrated by Hopi artist Robert Albert (Sahkomenewa) from Moencopi. There was at least one Hopi-authored children’s book on the shelves, namely Michael Lomatuway’Ma’s The Magic Hummingbird, which he co-wrote with Ekkert Malotki, a non-Hopi linguist. There are other Hopi-written children’s books that park officials did not include in the  shop such as Polingaysi Qoyawayma’s The Sun Girl and Emory Sekaquaptewa’s (et. al.) Coyote and Little Turtle: Iisaw Niqw Yongospnhoy.

For the past several months my friend and colleague Debbie Reese from Nambe Pueblo has encouraged me to write a children’s book on the Hopi. Debbie authors a very successful blog titled American Indians in Children’s Literature. On her blog she critically examines children’s books about American Indians  and challenges authors to portray Native people in accurate and respectful ways. If you are not familiar with Debbie’s blog, be sure to visit it at the following address: http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/

My post is not intended to critique the books in the Walnut Canyon gift shop. Sahkomenewa’s illustrations in The Lost Kachina are quite remarkable, and I assume that he would not illustrate a book on the Hopi that he did not approve of himself. Perhaps one day I will take up Debbie’s challenge and write a children’s book of my own. We certainly need more Hopis today writing and illustrating children’s books. And we need more publishers, school librarians, teachers, and even federal park officials to make Hopi authored books available to children.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Hopi runners article available for download

Over the past year, several people have stumbled across my blog looking for information on Hopi runners. For those who might be interested, I have made my article “Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930″ (American Quarterly, March Issue 2010, Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 77-101) available for download. Simply click on the above image to download the article as a PDF document.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

This way to Old Oraibi

Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Hopi High Cross Country Team Wins 21st Straight State Championship

I want to congratulate our Hopi High boys cross country team for winning their 21st straight Class 2A State Championship. This is a remarkable achievement. In an article in The Arizona Republic, reporter Jose M. Romero noted that Hopi runner Justin Secakuku won the Division IV meet for the team yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona. Congratulations to the Hopi High runners and their coaches for once again bringing honors to our people. Be sure to check out the following link for more information about this story: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/2010/11/06/20101106hopi-boys-cross-country-titles.html

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert


Copyright Notice

© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an associate professor of American Indian Studies & History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (History of Education Quarterly, August 2014)

Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva, New foreword by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Sept. 2013)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

“Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930″, American Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, March Issue 2010 (Click image to download article)

Hopi runner Philip Zeyouma’s trophy cups featured on cover of American Quarterly

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Education beyond the Mesas – Introduction (click image to download)

“‘The Hopi Followers': Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909″, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Arizona English Teachers Association highlights Hopi authors (click image to download)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

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