Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain between Indian and American

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Today the University Press of Kansas officially launched my book Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain between Indian and American (CultureAmerica series).  

I am grateful for the support of so many people over the years who have encouraged me as I completed this project. I thank my family and friends, past and current students, colleagues at the University of Illinois, and numerous scholars here in the United States and abroad. I also thank the wonderful staff at the press, and of course, readers of this blog!

Last week, Craig Chamberlin of the University of Illinois News Bureau published a story about the book. You can access the story here. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Hopi Runners, you can do so through Amazon or the publisher’s website.

Below is an excerpt from the book’s Introduction titled “To the Fence and Back.” The excerpt comes from a section of the Introduction where I describe Hopi runners who competed at federal off-reservation Indian boarding schools:

While Hopis participated in several sports, including basketball, football, and even boxing, their greatest success came as members of track and cross-country teams. Sports at off-reservation schools provided Native athletes opportunities that did not exist  for them on their reservations. When Hopis joined cross-country teams at Sherman Institute, or the Indian school at Carlisle, they experienced for the first time different regions of the country, life in modern cities, and a new way of running footraces. And Hopis used these opportunities to learn and interact with people from other parts of the United States and the world. While competing in marathons, Hopis ran with runners from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and Japan, and although from vastly different cultures, they spoke a common – and perhaps universal – language of competitive running.

Having come from a society that valued long-distance running for ceremonial and practical purposes, Hopi youth transferred this cultural mindset with with them when they entered these faraway schools. Hopi runners who competed at Indian schools had come from a tribe of racers. While none of these athletes needed to be taught the essence of long-distance running, coaches nevertheless trained them in modern running techniques and rules to compete effectively in American track and cross-country events. The dirt trails on the reservation did not resemble the paved roads or clay tracks used in many American running competitions. And so, in their first year on a school’s cross-country team, Hopis learned about running in different locations, climates, and elevations. And they had to develop mental and physical strategies for running in cities, on mountain roads, or in front of thousands of cheering spectators in a stadium.

When Hopis ran on trails back home, they did so in a relatively quiet and peaceful environment, far from the sounds of locomotives arriving and departing towns such as Winslow. Running on or near the mesas, Hopis became attuned with their bodies and surroundings, becoming one with their environment. They listened to their own breathing, the sound of their feet tapping the trail as they danced on Mother Earth. They felt the rhythmic pounding of their heart telling them to adjust or steady their pace. And they listened to birds singing and the sound of the wind cutting through the canyons. And often they ran alone, experiencing physical ailments that all distance runners endure. “He was alone and running on,” Kiowa poet N. Scott Momaday writes of a Jemez Pueblo runner named Abel. “All of his being was concentrated in the sheer motion of running on, and he was past caring about pain.” In the high desert of Arizona, Hopi runners also beheld beautiful landscapes , greeted majestic sunrises and sunsets, and had unobstructed views for miles in all directions. Running with no distractions from the outside world, Hopis ran with “good hearts,” prayed silently for the well-being of their people, and sang songs to the katsina spirits to entice the rain clouds to follow them home to their villages.

However, the tranquil environment that encompassed the trails back home did not reflect the fast pace and at times chaotic life in large modern American cities…

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain between Indian and American (University Press of Kansas, 2018), 8, 9, 10.

 

 

University of Illinois —Associate or Full Professor of American Indian Studies

University of Illinois —Associate or Full Professor of American Indian Studies
The American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (http://www.ais.illinois.edu) invites applications for an associate or full professor position (full time tenured position). Target starting date is August 16, 2018. Salary is competitive.
American Indian Studies is searching for a scholar in the field of American Indian and/or Indigenous Studies. The successful candidate will have a strong research and publication record in the field. The position requires significant contributions to undergraduate teaching, graduate mentoring, in addition to program, university, and other forms of professional service. Current AIS affiliate faculty and visiting scholars conduct interdisciplinary research in various fields. Candidates from all disciplinary backgrounds will be considered; however, the search committee is especially interested in candidates who complement the existing research strengths of the Program. A joint appointment or teaching arrangement with another academic unit on campus is also possible.
Minimum qualifications include: the PhD in American Indian Studies or related field, clear knowledge and experience in American Indian and/or Indigenous Studies, outstanding scholarly achievement, and evidence of teaching excellence. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working with American Indian or other indigenous communities.
Candidates should submit a letter of application detailing one’s research and teaching interests, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information for three reference letter writers. Letters of recommendation may be requested electronically from referees at a later date. To apply, create a candidate profile through https://jobs.illinois.edu and upload the applications materials. To ensure full consideration, all application materials must be received by November 10, 2017.
For additional information about the position or the application procedure, contact search committee chair, Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (tewa@illinois.edu). The AIS Program at Illinois asks that all applicants review the Program’s statement on identity and academic integrity, which can be found online at http://www.ais.illinois.edu/about/identity/.
The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.
The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu

AIS at Illinois to host former Postdoctoral Fellows

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Comanche scholar Dustin Tahmahkera to speak at the University of Illinois, Feb 15, 2017

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Lunar Run, Munqapi, Ariz., January 7, 2017

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We Run Strong Runners Forum, January, 7, 2017

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Foreword to the Second Edition of Don Talayesva’s Sun Chief (2013)

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Click on the image to download the entire Foreword (PDF)


Copyright Notice

© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2018. 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 (Hopi) is Professor of American Indian Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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New book on Hopi runners set to launch in October!

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

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

Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

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

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)

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

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

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Matt’s Goodreads

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