In April of this year, Susan Bundock, C-SPAN’s American History TV Producer, interviewed me at the 2013 Organization of American Historians conference in San Francisco, CA. At the end of June, the interview aired on national television and streamed on-line. Bundock asked me a number of questions about Hopi and Native American history. She also asked about my family history, and the American Indian Studies Program, and Department of History, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The interview is just over 20 minutes long, and can be viewed at the following address: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/312267-6
Be sure to check out a relatively new Hopi-authored blog by VaNiesha Honani of Walpi entitled “1000 Words and a Cup of Coffee.” So far VaNiesha has written on a handful of topics, including the Hopi Code Talkers, and the recent auction of 71 Hopi ceremonial items in France.
Here’s an excerpt from a post that she wrote entitled “This Little House on Walpi”. I think you will find her writing style and perspective to be quite engaging.
This past summer, I was in a mood and set on sitting in that little house during our Home Dance, moping and eating stew. I sat still. Little girls ran in and out, screaming with laughter and the boys chased each other around with bows in the summer.
As the day passed, they got dirtier. I held my little niece and talked to her. “You see this craziness?” She smiled. All the girls were dressed in traditional dresses. Even in my grumpiness, as I held my niece and had random one-sided conversations with her, my breath was taken away. The memories multiplied to the present. I looked at all my sisters, my nieces and aunts, in the same traditional clothes as 1000 years ago. The corn stalks and kachina dolls. The random small toy arrow that would come flying through the door. How beautiful.
I smile because when I hear somebody in an L.A. gallery wonder, “I can’t imagine growing up there, I wonder if people still live there or did they leave because it’s hard living.” I muse. Yes, we do still live there. No matter where or how far. Technology and all. It’s home. I smile as I stand next to them pondering over my house, this little house on Walpi.
Want to read more? Head on over to her blog: www.1000wordsandacupofcoffee.com
In June I had a great opportunity to speak at the Wings of America organization’s annual American Indian Running Coaches’ Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Wings of America exists to “enhance the quality of life for American Indian youth” by promoting running and pride in one’s “cultural identity.”
I spoke to a group of nearly 50 Native high school runners, and a number of coaches, including Hopi coach Rick Baker. I don’t often get a chance to speak to such a well-informed audience!
However, the highlight for me was listening to Hopi runner Wendi Lewis from Kykotsmovi, who gave a wonderful talk on running through the “trials and tribulations of life.”
Other presenters included Navajo scholar Lloyd Lee, Anthropologist Peter Nabakov, who once published a remarkable book entitled Indian Running, Jemez Pueblo runner Steve Gachupin, and many others.
Although I was not able to listen to Steve Gachupin’s talk, I have great respect for him as a runner.
Known for winning six consecutive Pikes Peak Marathons in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he is a strong advocate for running among Native youth.
I first learned about Gachupin and his running accomplishments from an excellent article by historian Brian S. Collier entitled “’To Bring Honor to My Village’: Steve Gachupin and the Community of Jemez Running and the Pikes Peak Marathon” (Journal of the West, Fall 2007).
If you are at all interested in running, be sure to read this article (it’s an article that I often cite in my work).
I should also note that the beautiful plate above was given to everyone who presented at the Clinic. It was made by Jemez Pueblo potter Bernice Gachupin, Steve Gachupin’s wife.
Finally, I want to give a special thanks to Wings of America Program Director Dustin Quinn Martin and other organizers for their hard work in making this terrific event possible.
Incident: Silver Fire Wildfire
june 30, 2013
The Hopi Agency Camp Crew of Arizona was recently dispatched to the New Mexico Incident Management Team to work the Silver Fire.The fire broke out June 7, 2013 when lightning hit in the Gila National Forest. The Hopi Camp Crew of 11 cared for the incident command post in San Lorenzo and its 728 personnel who camped there while fighting the fire. The command post was established at the San Lorenzo Elementary School.
Crew Boss Arley Woodty said it was ‘the best assignment yet’, because during down time, the Hopi Crew also completed a service project for the youth and community.
The school is home to the Mimbres Valley Community Nature Garden. School Custodian Linda Jones has been watering the vegetables during summer break and needed help expanding plots for a new crop of sweet potatoes.
““Our students started a pollinator garden and grow their own food and learn the importance of agriculture to this valley that began 1,000 years ago with the Native Americans, continued with the homesteaders, and organic farms today,” Jones said.”
Thanks to the Hopi crew, the school has three new raised garden beds that are decorated in traditional Hopi symbols – Butterflies, Bears, Corn, Eagles, and Horses.
““We are artists back home; we all do arts and crafts, making baskets, dolls and jewelry, but we hardly ever get to do things for kids. We like it,”” Woodty said.
Each member of the crew, even the bus driver, took part in painting. They hope the youth appreciate the meaning of the art as it relates to agriculture, snow, water, and prayer.
Jones saw the work and started showing it off. “”I had no idea of the talent of this crew.””
She called the school’s volunteer archaeologist, Marilyn Markel. When Markel saw the garden work, she brought the school’’s historic mascot (of sorts), a wooden rabbit named Conejo Mimbreño. ““We teach the kids about the history of the valley through the rabbit visits,”” she explained.
The next lesson will focus on the locations where the firefighters were stationed and how their work, and the New Mexico Incident Management Team, helped protect Mimbres Valley resources.
During down time in fire camp, it is common for firefighters to assist the communities that host them in service projects. Facilities used by crews are always left looking better than when the emergency trucks rolled into town.