Sign in or register
for additional privileges

American Indian Film Gallery

Cultures of Apache tribes and Hopi tribes

Emalie Schaefer, Author
Previous page on path     Next page on path


You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

Hopi Southwest Indians

The Hopi Indians have occupied the northwest corner of what is now Arizona for more than 2,000 years and are the westernmost of the Pueblos. They become firmly situated in that area by 217 A.D. Their ancestors are the Basketmaker peoples and Ancient Puebloans.  By 500 A.D., they constructed pithouses, created ceramic vessels, and began using the bow and arrow.  From about 700 A.D. to 900 A.D., villages were established on what are now known as the Hopi mesas. Hopi culture, as we know it today, with its complex systems of clans and kinship; social, ceremonial and religious organization; and agricultural practices was thriving and well established by the 1500s. Their language, “Hopi”, is a Shoshonean language and a part of the Uto-Aztecan language family.  Their name for themselves comes from Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, which means “Peaceful People.”

The Hopi live in several villages which are located on three mesas, Fist Mesa (Walpi, Sichomovi, Hano), Second Mesa (Shungopovi, Mishongnovi, Shipaulovi), and Third Mesa (Oraibi, Hotevilla, Bacavi, Upper and Lower Moenkopi, Kykotsmovi).  The village of Oraibi was established before 1100 A.D. and is one of the most continuously inhabited communities in the United States. The Hopi have a rich and complex traditional, ceremonial, and religious life.  Clans and men’s and women’s religious societies regulate ceremonial life following a religious calendar or cycle that has been in place since time immemorial.  Traditional and social customs are at times intertwined with religion.  The Hopi continue to maintain their language, culture, customs, and religion, and live a traditional way of life, but they also live a modern American life.

Noted: We are aware that the Hopi are in fact a subset of the Pueblo Peoples. We however have found it easier to treat them as their own tribal nation because the Hopi long ago decided to separate from the rest of the Pueblo peoples who still reside in New Mexico.

To get a better look at the daily life of a Hopi, we recommend watching this video provided by the American Indian Film Gallery. *

Daggett, Avalon. Village in the Sky. Video. Avalon Daggett Productions.  American Indian Film Gallery. 1953, Medium.

Comment on this page

Discussion of "Hopi Southwest Indians"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Cultures of Apache Tribes and Hopi Tribes, page 1 of 2 Next page on path