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.
Bierhorst, John. Is My Friend At Home? Berryville Graphics,
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,
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,
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
Rosen, Michael. Crow and Hawk. Harcourt Brace & Company,
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,
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.
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.,
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,
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
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
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,
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,
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,
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
Day, Jonathan. Traditional Hopi Kachinas. Northland Publishing,
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.