The Hopi Indians   

    The word Hopi means good, peaceful, or wise.  The Hopi are pueblo people, who live in the northeastern part of Arizona on end of the black mesa.  These Hopi people bond together and to the environment by practicing their religion.  The Hopi religion is based on duality of mass and energy.  The Kachina mask is a very large part of the Hopi religion. 

 The Hopi believe that all nature is controlled by their elaborate ceremonies to please the gods.  The Hopi people believe that nothing is left to fate.  From birth there are rites and ceremonies to help them through every crisis that comes about.

        The religious ceremonies are associated with the kachina.  A kachina meaning spirit-father is a supernatural being who represents the power of ancestral spirits.  The kachina has the ability to act good or evil.

        The kachina spirits visit the Hopi villages during the first half of the year to bring gifts and dance for rain.  The kachinas are honored at ceremonies.  The kachinas are thought to bring blessings and rain for crops.  The kachinas are not worshipped, but looked upon as friends.

The Hopi men carve the kachina masks and put on a performances or dances for the Kachinas.  They believe that by impersonating a Kachina, the kachina will enter their body.  The Hopi carve masks and dolls of Kachinas.

This website in an annotated bibliography of books related to the Hopi Indians.   The books on this website introduce students to the Hopi culture and way of life.  The folklore included on this site will be beneficial for teaching students about Hopi beliefs, traditions, and ways of life.  The novels included on this page are great read alouds or indepent reading books for your classroom.  Within this page you will also find a biography and an autobiography about two Hopi children.  The informational books provided are great resources for students to use in your classroom.  The professional resources included on this page are about Hopi Kachinas and Hopi Art.  By reading these books you will find a unique way to integrate art and social studies into your classroom.  Hopi Kachina dolls are very interesting and they reveal a lot about the Hopi culture. 

.          Ghost Dance           Warrior Maiden          Pueblo Boy
                    The Last Lobo                                   truth  

Bierhorst, John. Is My Friend At Home? Berryville Graphics, 2001.
This picture book incorporates Pueblo fireside tales told for the youngest Native American listeners around the fireside.  In the Hopi country of Northern Arizona these seven interconnected stories are about making and keeping friendships.  Through animal characters students learn about some of these unique tales.  This is a great book to use with students in kindergarten through third grade.

Courlander, Harold. People of the Short Blue Corn: Tales and Legends of Hopi Indians. New York, 1970.
This book includes seventeen stories of how the Hopi world came to be and how the Hopi came to dwell in it.  These stories are collected by the author who spent two summers among the Hopi.  These stories or tales have been handed down for generations among the Hopi.  What is great about these stories is they encompass a variety of themes.  These stories introduce students to ancient Hopi tradition and way of life, one of which is storytelling.

Malotki, Ekkehart. The Magic Hummingbird.  Kiva, 1996.
This book is a Hopi folktale about two young children that live in the village of Oraibi that are left behind in a drought.  In order to keep his sister company, the young boy in the book makes a hummingbird out of sunflower stalks.  This hummingbird comes to life.  Through the hummingbird the children are introduced to the Hopi way of life.  This book emphasizes the importance of staying in contact with the gods in order to maintain harmony.

Mc Lerran, Alice. The Ghost Dance. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995.
This book illustrates the loss of land, people, food, and culture by encroaching white settlers.  The Native American people performed ghosts dances to keep the past alive.  They performed these dances in hope that their way of life would return to the ways of their grandfathers.  The Ghost dance has an underlying value of commitment to personal integrity and nonviolence, as well as a passionate concern for social and environmental health.  The Native Americans believe that by joining together in this sacred dance they could restore what was lost.  Their dream and hope was misunderstood and the white man mistook their dance for a war dance.  

Rodanas, Kristinia. Follow The Stars. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish, 1998.
This resource is a Native American woodland tale.  Animals make a journey across snowbound lands in search of the missing birds of summer.  When they locate the birds warmth returns to the land.  This piece of folklore explains why there are seasons and is a good way to introduce Native American beliefs.  

Rosen, Michael. Crow and Hawk.  Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995.
A traditional Indian story told to young children as they were growing up.  This is a story about a crow that lays a clutch of eggs in her nest.  She sits on them, but gets tired of doing so and flies away.  A hawk flies by and takes pity on the abandoned eggs.  She hatches the eggs and rears the babies as her own.  The crow comes back and wants her children back.  Eagle, the king of the birds, helps settle the dispute between the crow and the hawk.  This is a great piece of Native American folklore to use in the classroom.  This tale has many hidden themes including commitment and love.

Schecter, Ellen. The Warrior Maiden: A Hopi Legend. Byron Preiss, 1992.
This book is a retelling of a Hopi Indian legend in which a brave Hopi girl helps save her peaceful Pueblo from invading Apache.  This book is great for introducing students to the Hopi way of life.  Through this book students see that Hopi are peaceful people.  Students are also introduced to the Hopi dwelling and the customs of the tribe.

Talashoema, Hershel. Coyote and Little Turtle: A Taditional Hopi Tale. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 1994.
This is a traditional Hopi tale about a little turtle that outsmarts a coyote.  This book is written in both Hopi and English and is illustrated by Hopi children on the third mesa.  The illustrations are appealing to children and they also shows children how similar the Hopi children are to themselves.  What is great about this book is that it contains a grammar section on Hopi language as well as a translated English Hopi glossary.

Wolkstein, Diane. Squirrel's Song. Alfred A. Knofe, 1976.
This is a story about a Squirrel and a Chipmunk who are best friends.  Each day they race to the peach orchard to take the juiciest peach when the old Hopi guard is not watching.  When Chipmunk decides to make a song about Squirrel that ties Squirrel to the peach stealing, Squirrel gets angry.  This folklore is a great piece of literature to use in the classroom because it teaches children about traditional Hopi tales while addressing other issues like honesty, trust, and friendship.


Etling, Mary. The Hopi Way. New York: M. Evans and Company, Inc., 1969.
Louis Mofsie’s mother is a Winnebago Indian from the forests at the Canadian border and his father is a Hopi Indian from the Arizona desert.  Louis has grown up in New York his whole life and he knows nothing about his Hopi heritage.  One summer his father takes him and his sisters to visit their Hopi relatives.  He learns about the Hopi way of life and culture.  A great read aloud in the classroom.  This book introduces students to the Hopi culture.  

Price, Joan. Truth is a Bright Star. Millbrae: Celestial Arts, 1982.
This novel is a Hopi adventure based on a true incident.  Loma, a twelve year old Hopi Indian boy, along with several other Hopi Indian children are attacked and captured by Spanish soldiers.  Their adventures begin as they are taken five hundred miles from their peaceful desert village and sold as slaves.  Loma is sold to a fur trapper.  Understanding and finally friendship develop between the trapper and Loma.  A great novel to show students how Native Americans were mistreated and displaced by incoming settlers.  

Smith, Ronald. The Last Lobo. New York: Hyperion Books, 1999.
This novel is written by a research biologist who has spent over twenty years studying wildlife.  This book is about a teenage boy named Jake.  Jake travels back with his grandfather Taw to the Hopi reservation where he was born.  When he arrives at the reservation he discovers the Hopi are divided over a Lobo or wolf.  Some believe the wolf is a spirit of the plains; however, other Hopis want to kill the wolf because he is hunting livestock.  Jake knows that if the wolf exists he must trap it and save it because it is the last of its kind.  This is an action packed book that is a great way to reveal the beliefs of the Hopi culture.

Biography and Autobiography
Keegan, Marcia. Pueblo Boy: Growing Up In Two Worlds. Dulton: Cobblehill Books, 1991.
This book is a biography of Timmy Roybal.  Timmy is a Pueblo Indian living in New Mexico.  This book follows Timmy’s daily activities including using a computer at school, playing baseball, watching his grandmother make pottery and learning the customs and prayers of his ancestors.  This biography is a great way for students to compare and contrast the Pueblo way of life to their own lives.  

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. Pueblo Storyteller. New York: Holiday House, 1991.
This book is an autobiography of a young Pueblo Indian girl named April.  She talks about how her grandparents made the past come alive through storytelling.  This autobiography about her family introduces students to the ancient way of life as well as pueblo customs.  By reading this book students are introduced to pueblo customs like the bread baking, pottery making, and traditional Pueblo dance.  What is great about this book is that it includes the traditional legend of how the people came to earth (Pueblo people).


Kamma, Anne. If You Lived With The Hopi.  Schoolastic, 1999.
This book is a great, easy to follow, children’s resource book on the Hopi Indians.  This book addresses a great deal of questions about the Hopi from where they live to how they live differently today.  A comprehensive resource with relevant topic for today’s students like games Hopis play and divorce in the Hopi culture.

Isaacs, Salley. Life in a Hopi Village. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2001.
This book is a great easy to use reference for students.  The information provided in this book is surrounded by beautiful photography of the Hopi.  In this book students will find an abundance of information including Hopi way of life, their cooking, and their transition to becoming American and attending school.      

Professional Resources
Day, Jonathan. Traditional Hopi Kachinas.  Northland Publishing, 2000.
This is a great informational resource about Hopi Kachina dolls and their carvers.  This is a must read in order to understand the interesting connection between the Hopi and their Kachina masks and dolls.  

Jacka, Louis. Art of the Hopi. Northland Publishing, 1998.  
This is an excellent resource about Hopi art.  By learning about Hopi Art, teachers can bring this cultural aspect into the classroom.  This book has great photographs which can be useful in the classroom.

Hanauer, Elise. Dolls of the Indians: A Book of Kachina Effigies.  A.S. Barnes and Company, 1970.

This book is a great way to introduce Hopi religious ceremonies.  Most prominent among religious ceremonies are those associated with the Kachinas.  A Kachina, meaning spirit-father, is a supernatural being who represents the power of an ancestral spirit who is capable of acting good or evil.  This book introduces students to Hopi Kachina spirits, their doll carving and beliefs about the Kachina masks and dolls.  This book contains great black and white sketches of Kachina dolls.  Although this book has good information about the carving of the dolls, it is necessary to do more research on individual dolls' purposes in the Hopi culture.