FLAGSTAFF-Exploring and experiencing Hopi art and culture directly from the source is exactly what the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) accomplishes each and every year by presenting their annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture.
It's been "right on the mark" for the past 74 years according to both tribal participants and the visiting audience that attended the festival during the weekend of June 30 and July 1.
There was much to enjoy, appreciate and savor in both the indoor and outdoor gallery spaces at the MNA with 43 Hopi artists specializing in both two- and three-dimensional design work, four separate musical artists and dance groups who performed, along with traditional Hopi games and basketry demonstrations.
Major Hopi art winners over the weekend included Benson Honyumptewa, who won Best of Show for his small wedding robe, an exquisite piece of traditional weaving work.
The MNA Spirit Award went to Dorleen Gashweseoma of Hotevilla, Third Mesa for her traditional Piki basket platter. Gashweseoma took Best of Show two years ago and is extremely sought after for her meticulous basket work.
The MNA Memorial Award went to Bertha Wadsworth for her Katsina Girl Coil basket. This special memorial award celebrates the life, legacy and basketwork of the late Hazel Dukepoo.
This year, the coveted Charles Loloma Award went to Raymond Kyasyousie of Hotevilla, a contemporary jeweler, for his intricate overlay bracelet that featured both gold and turquoise accents. This award is given to a Hopi artist who creatively utilizes their Hopi heritage as a springboard for new, contemporary and innovative design interpretation in their chosen field of art.
The MNA Director's Award went to to Remalda Lomayestewa for her Turtle plaque with Rainbow
Some of the special Hopi entertainment this year included Casper and his Mighty 602 Band.
Casper Lomayesva is originally from the village of Kykotsmovi. His daily job and family keep him full-time in Phoenix, but he was able to come to Flagstaff for the Hopi festival, reminding his home reservation and local fan base of his talent, off-reservation popularity and outstanding singing and performing skills.
Backed by his 602 Band, Casper entertained in three separate sets over the weekend, sold his CDs to the crowd and stayed to allow for photos and autographs after his performances.
Robert Breunig, Director of the MNA and producer of the Hopi show was thrilled with the standing room only crowd on opening night as well as the heavy crowd on Saturday.
Breunig stated, "It's really important to me that Hopis feel comfortable here at our museum. What I want is to provide a place where meaningful cross-cultural communication can take place in an appropriate way without crossing or disturbing any cultural boundaries. I hope that the MNA can provide that beacon of tolerance and sincere communication for the Hopis that come to share their art, their culture, their language and their lives."
Other winners in the fine arts category at the Hopi festival included:
First place, Gerald Dawavendewa, mixed Media; second place, Anthony E. Honahnie, acrylic painting; honorable mentions: Richard Dawavendewa-drawing, Adam Kyasyousie-"Two Long Haired Katsinam Coming From the Clouds to the Mesa," Ranson Lomatewama-hand-sculpted glass Hopi maiden (orange), Pat Natseway-drawing, Nuva Secakuku-acrylic painting.
Best Elder Awards: first place, Abigail Kaursgowa-Sipapuni, second place, Remalda Lomayestewa-yucca plaque; honorable mentions: Mildred Albert, Lillian Namingha, Bertha Wadsworth, Clara Sekayesva and Elsie P. Seutopka.
Best Youth Awards (18 years and under):
First place Basketry: Kelsey Kayquaptewa-9 diamond basket. second place Basketry: Vance Quamahongnewa-yucca basket. first place Cultural Award: Randy Lovato-choker necklace. second place Cultural Award: Ashley Onsae-Corn Necklace. Honorable Mention: Randy Lovato-Deer horn choker with turquoise. first place Fiber Arts: Jared Brock.
second place Fiber Arts: Lomayokva Dawavendewa-drawing. Honorable Mention: Brennon Darrell, Lomayokva Dawavendewa. first place pottery: Raven Huma-Talashoma, cloud design saucer. second place Pottery: Raven Huma-Talashoma-bowl.
Textile Awards: first place" Benson Honyumptewa, small wedding robe. second place: Benson Honyumptewa, sash. Honorable Mention: Louise Josytewa-boy blanket-black and white. Marvin Pooyouma-traditional belt. Nuva Secakuku-traditional Hopi breach cloth.
Basketry Awards: first place: Jessica Lomatewama, Raven Bride yungyapo. second place: Dorleen Gashweseoma-piki platter. Honorable Mention: Iva Honyestewa, Jessica Lomatewama, Dianna Shebala.
Katsina Doll Awards: first place Traditional: Merlin Kopeiva-Devil's Claw. second place" Cordell Naseyoma- Kuwan Heyha. Honorable Mention: Cordell Naseyoma-Snow Kachina, Kevin Secakuku-Awatovi Soyoko. first place Contemporary: Adrian Nasfotie-Paralyzed Katsina. second place Contemporary: Eli Taylor-"Monongya". Honorable Mention Contemporary: Kevin Crook, Walter Poleyma Jr., Gayver Puhuyesva.
Pottery Awards: first place: Kathleen Collatetea-Corn Vase. second place Kathleen Collateta-Wedding Vase. Honorable Mention: Sharon David, Darlene James.
Jewelry Awards: first place: Raymond Kyasyousie, Silver bracelet with flower-clan motif. second place: Elmer Satala, Jr. Butterfly maiden pendant with Persian turquoise. Honorable Mention: Watson Honanie, Steve LaRance, Gerald Lomaventema, Raymond Kyasyousie.
Cultural Items: first place: Melanie David-Siokwasa. second place: Melvin Yaiva-rasp. Honorable Mention: Kara Honanie, Thomas Hoyungowa.
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