Archive for February, 2010

The search for Polingaysi Qoyawayma

When I started researching on the Hopi boarding school experience at Sherman Institute, I thought for sure that I would come across many references of Polingaysi Qoyawayma (Elizabeth Q. White) at the Sherman Indian Museum. She is, after all, one of the school’s most famous alums. I looked in the Sherman Bulletin, the school’s student-written newspaper. I examined various letterpress books and other school records, but I never came across her name.

While conducting research at the National Archives in Laguna Niguel, California, I uncovered a file with a name similar to Polingaysi Qoyawayma written on the tab. I thought I found the documents that I had been searching for. But when I examined the records closely I discovered that the file belonged to someone else.

In an attempt to find clues that would lead me to archival information on Qoyawayma, I reread Don Talayesva’s autobiography Sun Chief. Talayesva and Qoyawayma attended Sherman at the same time. They both came from Orayvi and likely traveled with each other to the school in November 1906. But nowhere in Talayesva’s book does he mention her name.

Fortunately, one does need to depend on Talayesva or an archive to learn about Qoyawayma’s experience at the Indian school in Riverside. Although the archival record may appear to be silent, at least in reference to her time at Sherman, her story remains with her family, others who knew her, and in her book No Turning Back.

The documents that I searched for may never surface. They may not even exist. But Qoyawayma has already shared with us about her school days at Sherman Institute. She has already provided us with the archive, the documents, and the narrative of her life.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Hopi studies at the 2010 NAISA conference

There will be several Hopi presentations at this year’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson. This event will take place on May 20-22. I have copied a list of Hopi presenters and Hopi related papers/panels to this post. To learn more about the conference and to access the complete program, please click on the following link: http://naisa.ais.arizona.edu/

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FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010 10:00-11:45 am

76. Youth & Culture [S29]
Organizer: NAISA Program Committee
Chair: TBA
“The Good Life” and “The Fast Life”: Childhood and Youth among Algonquian Peoples at Mid-Century
Kim Anderson, Centre for Research in Inner City Health/ St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Unintended Truths: The Paradoxes of Cultural Reconnection for Urban Native Youth
Tracy L. Friedel, University of British Columbia, Canada
Traditional Education Tools in Hopi and Dakota Communities
Sherrie L. Stewart, University of Arizona

Cultural Identity in Education
Roy Weasel Fat, Red Crow Community College
Comment: Audience

79. Attending to “Missing” Youth and Opportunities for Language Activism in Indigenous Language Contexts [P74]
Organizer & Chair: Leisy T. Wyman, University of Arizona
Indigenous Youth – The Missing Link in Language Revitalization Research and Praxis
Teresa L. McCarty, Arizona State University
Articulating a Critical Language Consciousness among New Mexico’s Indigenous Youth
Tiffany S. Lee, University of New Mexico
Hopi Youth “Wanting in Tradition”: Seeking the “Missing Piece” – The Heritage Language
Sheilah E. Nicholas, University of Arizona

Recognizing Youth Migration in Linguistic Ecologies and Educational Efforts: Yu’pik Examples
Leisy T. Wyman, University of Arizona
Comment: Perry Gilmore, University of Arizona

FRIDAY May 21, 2010 12:00-1:45 pm

87. ROUNDTABLE: Collaborating on Native American History: The Hopi History Project [R6]
Organizer: Anton Daughters, University of Arizona
Chair: Thomas E. Sheridan, University of Arizona
Participants: T.J. Ferguson, University of Arizona
Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
Stewart Koyiyumptewa, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
Lee Wayne Lomayestewa, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office

FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010 2:00-3:45 pm

93. Displaying Common Unity: New Directions in the Exhibition of “Indigenous” and “Black” Lives in the Americas
[P21]
Organizer & Chair: Robert Keith Collins, San Francisco State University
Toward a Dynamic Ethnography of Common Unity between Africans and Native Americans: Evidence from WPA Slave
Narratives
Robert Keith Collins, San Francisco State University
Mulattos, Mongrels, and Mulgenons: Race, Ideology, and Public Policy in the Construction of American Indian and
African American Identity
Angela A. Gonzales, Cornell University

Our brethren by the ties of consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrongs: Narrating Crispus Attucks and Paul Cuffee
“Home”
Judy Kertész, North Carolina State University

101. Intellectual Property, Cultural Patrimony, and Museum Partnerships [S19]
Organizer: NAISA Program Committee
Chair: Kevin Gover, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
Perspectives on Working Relationships and Contracts: Indigenous Intellectual Property and Museums
John R. Grimes, Cook Inlet Tribal Council and Merry Glosband, Peabody Essex Museum
Repatriation and Representation in Tribal Museums and Cultural Centers
Sunny K. Lybarger, University of Arizona
Returning Hopi Voices: Redefining Repatriation through Community Partnership
Trevor Reed, Columbia University

Iroquoia Collected: The Alienation of Haudenosaunee Cultural Patrimony
Scott Manning Stevens, Newberry Library McNickle Center
Comment: Audience

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2010, 8:00-9:45 a.m.

103. Renewal of Indigenous Languages & Cultures: Up and Coming Indigenous Scholars’ Research Findings [P26]
Organizer & Chair: Candace K. Galla, University of Arizona
Reversing Language Shift in the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Jesse Johnson, University of Arizona
Use of Ancestral Indigenous Languages to Promote Student Development within the Classroom Maxine R. Sam, University of Arizona
“Uma tuuqayi, umu sinmuy amungem lavaywisni” (When you have learned, advocate for your people)
Darold Joseph, University of Arizona

Revitalizing Our Languages: Towards Decolonizing Technologies for Indigenous Communities
Candace K. Galla, University of Arizona
Comment: Audience

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2010 2:00-3:45 pm

129. New Directions in Hopi Arts: Incorporating the Past, Inventing the Future [P72]
Co-Organizers & Co-Chairs: Jessica Welton, Virginia Commonwealth University and Zena Pearlstone, California
State University, Fullerton
Picturing the Rational Mind: Archaeology Meets Michael Kabotie
Kelley Hayes-Gilpin, Museum of Northern Arizona & Northern Arizona University

Brian Honyouti: Send in the Clowns
Zena Pearlstone, California State University, Fullerton
New Directions and Change: Discomfort and Growth
Mark Tahbo (Hopi), Independent Scholar
New Directions from Ancient Roots: The Art and Philosophy of Michael Kabotie
Jessica Welton, Virginia Commonwealth University

Comment: Audience

A classical guitarist from Kykotsmovi

When I was younger I studied classical guitar with Tom Sheeley at Northern Arizona University. I had dreams of becoming a professional Spanish classical guitarist, but that aspiration never came to be. Below is an article about a sixteen year old Hopi guitarist named Malcolm Mowa from Kykotsmovi. One of his compositions titled “Aerial Ice” was recently aired on National Public Radio. I am looking forward to hearing more about this Hopi musician in the future.

The story and photo are courtesy of Stan Bindell and the Navajo-Hopi Observer (NHO). Many thanks to Wells Mahkee Jr., Managing Editor of NHO, for granting me permission to republish this story on my blog. Here is the link to the original source: http://navajohopiobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=74&subsectionID=111&articleID=12247

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

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Hopi student’s music hits national airwaves

Stan Bindell, The Observer

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

POLACCA, Ariz. – A Hopi High School music student has hit the national airwaves. Malcolm Mowa had his musical composition, “Aerial Ice,” performed on National Public Radio. He wrote the piece, which was performed by Ethel, a four-string quartet.

Mowa, a 16-year old junior, said Ethel performed great and he was excited about having his piece aired nationally. He initially wrote the piece as part of the Grand Canyon Music Festival when artist in residence Raven Chacone came to Hopi High and taught six students how to compose.

Mowa learned about his piece being aired nationally when it was announced over the school’s intercom. “It motivates me to want to do more with music,” he said.

“I want to go to school for music composition and guitar.” He also wants to learn to play the piano. Mowa said his parents were excited and happy about his composition being aired nationally.

“Everybody wants to hear it, but nobody knows when it was played,” he said. Thomas Irwin, band teacher at Hopi High, was equally ecstatic about Mowa’s piece getting national airtime.

“It was great, cool,” he said. “There are new people at NPR working on programming.”

The new programming allows the top high school students from throughout the nation to have their pieces aired. One of Irwin’s former students at Monument Valley High School received a $10,000 endowment for his work.

Irwin said he hopes Mowa stays serious about his musical work because he can major in guitar or composition, and scholarships are available to him.

“I’m confident he can get scholarships,” Irwin said. “He’s a great example of what can happen when kids apply themselves. Chances are we’ll get more success stories.”

Irwin said Mowa’s fellow students were happy for him, although some teased him about his success.

Mowa said “Aerial Ice” was a happy tune about how he felt at the time. It’s classical music and it’s just instrumental; there are no words. He added that he likes classical music better than hip hop or rap.

“It’s better than a lot of the music that’s out there. It’s mellow, nice – not bad stuff,” he said.

Mowa likes alternative rock, classic rock and pop music.

Mowa is also part of the Hopi High guitar class, which recently performed at the Hopi Cultural Center and other places in the community.

“It was weird because we were playing off to the side while people were eating, but people were happy we were playing. They would put down their food and listen,” he said. Mowa, who also plays baseball, maintains a B average and hopes to get a music scholarship to college. He is the son of Uberta and Clifton Mowa from Kykotsmovi.

Navajo-Hopi Observer

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Hopi runners in the audience

I recently returned from attending the American Indian Studies Association (AISA) Conference in Tempe, Arizona. I delivered a paper titled “Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930.” This paper, in its article form, will appear next month in American Quarterly. I was happy to see that some Hopis came to my talk, including two students from ASU. Since I first presented on this topic, I cannot recall the last time I had Hopi long distance runners in the audience. Both of these students were runners.

After the session I talked at length with the students about how the world focuses so much attention on Louis Tewanima, but back home our people realize that while Tewanima was good, other Hopi runners were just as good or better than the famous Olympian from Shungopavi. Although these students already knew about Tewanima, they had not heard of the other runners that I mentioned in my paper. I also did not know about these runners before I started this project.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a faculty at the University of Illinois is the opportunity I have to make my research available and meaningful to the Hopi community. This has always been the driving force behind my work.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert


Copyright Notice

© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2017. 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 in the Department of History and a Dean's Fellow and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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)

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

Matt’s Goodreads

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