Hopis and earthquakes

When I screen Beyond the Mesas I enjoy taking questions from the audience. Some people ask me to explain more about the Orayvi Split, Chief Tawaquaptewa, or the reasons why the film makers produced the film. At a screening in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Adelaide Aime asked me if there was anything that was not in the film that I wish we had included. This is a great question. The film producers spent a week on the Hopi Reservation to conduct interviews. We had many hours of material to work with, but due to time and budget constraints, we only used 35 minutes of the interviews in the final cut. One of the stories that I wish we had included in the film spoke to a unique occurence that Hopis experienced at Sherman Institute. Of the five people we interviewed who went to Sherman, two of these individuals talked about what it was like for them to experience an earthquake. Although I have written about Hopis and earthquakes at Sherman in my forthcoming book, it would have been great if these stories were also part of the film.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert