Hopi Youth Return to Mesa Verde – A film by Hopi Footprints of the Ancestors

A few weeks ago I passed along an announcement on my blog about 4 Hopi film screenings at the Museum of Northern Arizona. One of these films was Hopi Youth Return to Mesa Verde. This film examines a group of Hopis who traveled to a Hopi migration settlement called Mesa Verde in Colorado. As you watch the film, take note of the similarities that the youth bring up between Hopi ancestral ways and the practices of today’s Hopi people. Their remarks on the continuity of Hopi culture is an important theme in the film.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

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1 Response to “Hopi Youth Return to Mesa Verde – A film by Hopi Footprints of the Ancestors”


  1. 1 Phil K December 14, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Excellent film. Having visited Mesa Verde as an outsider a few years ago, it was very refreshing to see young people today contemplating and working with the footprints and “hand prints” of their ancestors in that powerful place. In the film (on You Tube, 17 minutes) students listening and exploring as a group seemed very mindful of what they were listening to,seeing, touching, and walking on. To any teacher this film is a welcome sight of young people considering their past. Very educational, a strong example of the value of national funding. I would recommend this film for any classroom.

    As this is a student film, it seems a more authentic film result than a very expensive media production likely done by non-Hopi filmmakers. The key here is Hopi (youth) return to Mesa Verde and all of the visuals and audio support this idea.

    And as a collaborative film effort with young students, elders, teachers, park rangers, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, with Northern Arizona University staff and resources– the result is a calm, educational,well produced, and interesting documentary film of young people learning of their important ancestors. From this film, Hopi Youth Return To Mesa Verde, we all learn something important about ourselves and this planet.


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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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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)

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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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