The Hopi were one of the Pueblo people. (They still are.) Their religion and the way they governed themselves
was the same as all Pueblo people. Their language, however, was
unique, which was one reason the Hopi were different from other
Like all Pueblos, the Hopi were excellent
farmers. They grew corn, beans, squash, melons, pumpkins, and fruit.
They made wool and fabric clothing. Their homes were made of adobe.
They stacked their homes, like the Ancient Ones, and used ladders
to reach the various levels.
In ancient times, a bride and groom announced
their engagement by brushing each other's hair. Once people noticed
they were engaged, the bride would visit her future husband's family.
While visiting, she would prove her skills by grinding corn or baking
bread. The groom and his male relatives wove the wedding clothes. The
bride always wore a dark blue blanket dress and a cotton shawl.
Wedding dresses were not handed down from one generation to the next.
Each person received his or her own wedding garments. In the Hopi way,
people were buried in their wedding clothes.
Men and Women: Women
owned the land and the house. Husbands lived their wives' families, as
was the custom in most Pueblo tribes. Women cooked, cleaned, took care
of the kids, and wove baskets. The men planted and harvested the food,
hunted, performed ceremonies, and did the weaving. Weaving was
important as the cloth would be used to make ceremonial costumes -
costumes used in religious ceremonies.
a child was born, it was the Hopi custom that he or she would receive
a gift of a birth blanket and a perfect ear of corn.
Naming Ceremony: Naming
a baby was very important to the Hopi. Everyone in the village made
suggestions. The parents would not be the ones to finally name the
baby. That honor was reserved for the tribal or village leaders, not
the parents. But everyone in the family could come with blessings and
give suggestions of names for the baby.
all Pueblo, kids had very strong ties to everyone in their family. As
they got older, everyone in their family would begin to teach the
children the Hopi ways. The girls would learn how to design clay
pottery, make food, and weave baskets. The boys would learn how to
make tools and weapons and how to hunt. Before kids could become
adults and marry, they had to pass a test of courage. Girls would go
off with the women, and boys with the men. The actual coming of age
ceremony for each individual was secret. But all ceremonies were tests
All the southwest tribes made gorgeous clay pottery.
The Hopi were no exception. They made beautiful pots, carved and
painted with designs that told a story. Some pots were used for
cooking. Other were used for storage. The best pots were used for
weaving was done only by the men. Hopi weavers made all the white
cotton kilts worn by the men. They made all the ceremonial customs.
Their designs were bright and cheerful, with patterns of birds
and flowers in a great many colors. Only a few knew how to braid the
rain sash with its many intricate knots.
southwestern tribes used turquoise to make jewelry, and still do. They
believed turquoise was the stone of happiness, health, and good
Hopi method of making baskets has not changed for hundreds of years.
They still make baskets with the old patterns, in the old way, woven
with long grasses, and designed with natural dyes.
This festival is somewhat like Halloween, only the
trick and treaters are adult men. During the 9-day Hopi purification
ceremony, giant Natackas (men in costume) go from house to house,
begging. The Natackas hoot and whistle if they are turned down.
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