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American Indian Film Gallery

Cultures of Apache tribes and Hopi tribes

Emalie Schaefer, Author

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Hopi Dwellings

The Hopi lived in communities called “pueblos”, a term used by Spanish explorers.  They lived in permanent multi-storied homes made out of mud, native stone, and local timbers for ceiling beams.  There were rooms upstairs and downstairs.  Upstairs rooms served as living quarters, while downstairs rooms were used as storage rooms.  Other rooms were for grinding corn and weaving.  The homes were all connected together and so resembled modern day apartment buildings.  Rooms were entered by ladders through openings in the roof. 

The Hopi are a matrilineal society and land and houses are owned by the women.  A family unit usually included extended family.  A woman’s older daughters and their husbands would build their own houses nearby or attached to the mother’s house.

Traditional Hopi houses are still in use today, but many Hopi also live in modern homes.

This video, titled The Hopi Indian provided by the American Indian Film Gallery, discusses dwellings even though it is very minimal, it starts at 1:02 and ends at 1:56. (The Hopi Indian. Video. Coronet Productions. American Indian Film Gallery.1945, Medium.)
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