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The Hopi Indians

Uploaded by shortyck84 on Oct 14, 1999

In the southwestern United States, above northern Arizona, are three mesas. The mesas create the home for the Hopi Indians. The Hopi have a deeply religious, isolated, tribal culture with a unique history. The Hopi stress group cooperation. The tribe is organized around a clan system. In a clan system, all the members consider themselves relatives. The clans form a social glue that has held the Hopi villages together. Clan membership provides a singular Hopi identity. The Hopi have a highly developed belief system which contains many gods and spirits. Ceremonies, rituals, dances, songs, and prayers are celebrated in year-round. The Hopi believed they were led to the arid southwestern region of America by their creator, because he knew they had the power to evoke rain with power and prayer. Consequently, the Hopi are connected to their land, its agricultural cycles and the constant quest for rainfall, in a religious way. The religious center of the community is the kiva, which is an underground room with a ladder protruding above the roof. The kiva is very important for several reasons. From the kiva, a connection is made with the center of the earth. Also, the kiva is symbolic for the emergence to this world. The room would represent the underworld and the ladder would represent the way to the upper world. In fact, a room is kept in the house to store ceremonial objects. A sacred ear of corn protects the room and symbolizes the ancestry of the family members. Kachinas are also a focal point of the religion. For a Hopi, they signify spirits of ancestors, dieties of the natural world, or intermediaries between man and gods. The Hopi believe that they are the earth's caretakers, and with the successful performance of their ceremonial cycle, the world will remain in balance, the gods will be happy and rain will come. Because they think of their crops as gifts, the Hopi Indians live in harmony with the environment. Art is also used for ritualistic purposes. Men's loincloths were painted and decorated with tassels to symbolize falling rain. Men also wore elaborate costumes that include special headdresses, masks, and body paints during ritual ceremonies and dances. The Hopi follow a seasonal sense of time. Depending on the season, different preparations were used for collecting the rain. Droughts required the Hopis to adopt new farming methods that are still in use today. An example...

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Uploaded by:   shortyck84

Date:   10/14/1999

Category:   American History

Length:   3 pages (759 words)

Views:   1726

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