Hopi Festival of Arts July 6-7 at Museum of Northern Arizona

The Hopi Festival of Arts at the Museum of Northern Arizona features traditional dance presentations along with traditional Hopi food and art. Submitted photo

The Hopi Festival of Arts at the Museum of Northern Arizona features traditional dance presentations along with traditional Hopi food and art. Submitted photo

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Those interested in Hopi lifeways, ancestors, migrations and pottery will likely want to mark their calendars for the Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) in Flagstaff.

Cultural interpreters will cover all of those subjects during Heritage Insights talks July 6-7. The festival is now in its 80th year. Visitors will see Hopi traditional dances, hear songs and music and learn of the Hopi language and stories through performances and talks. There will be traditional Hopi food, including a ceremonial food made of blue corn.

Museum Director Robert Breunig said the museum is excited to reach the 80th anniversary of what used to be known as the Hopi Craftsman exhibition.

"The festival is a place where culture, creativity, and community happen," Breunig said. "I hope everyone will come and be a part of this year's excitement, and celebrate the long-standing relationship between the museum and the Hopi people."

Heritage Program Manager Ann Doyle added that the museum will display select pieces curators have added to MNA's collections in the last 30 years.

"We're also very excited to present a new Hopi and Hopi-Tewa pottery exhibit of recent acquisitions in the Kiva gallery," Doyle said. "These represent some of the most highly skilled potters in recent history. We honor and thank the donors who have contributed these artworks, so that generations to come may enjoy and learn from them."

In addition to the 75 booth artists at the festival, museum staff has made several trips to collect one-of-a-kind consigned work from individual artists across the Hopi mesas. This provides the opportunity for artists who produce only a few items each year a chance to sell their work. Hundreds of distinctive art pieces including quilts, rattles, pottery, katsina dolls, paintings, and baskets will be on display and for sale.

The Arizona Humanities Council sponsors the Heritage Insights presentations.

This year the presentations will include a talk by Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpan, the Edwards Bridge Danson Chair of Anthropology at MNA and a Northern Arizona University professor.

Hays-Gilpan's presentation on recent acquisitions to the MNA's Hopi andHopi-Tewa pottery collection will explore the potters and donors who have helped to build MNA's collection, what the collection's strengths and weaknesses are, how the recently acquired pottery in the new Kiva's gallery exhibit were selected and the future of collecting at the museum.

Another presentation by Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Director Lilian Hill will cover Hopi permaculture. She will also talk about strengthening food security, traditions and cultural values that support sustainable ways of life in order to pass that knowledge on to future generations.

Flagstaff artist and educator Bob Lomadafkie will present an overview of Hopi pre-European history to the present, touching on Hopi ancestors and the migrations -- where the Hopi came from and where they are now on the Hopi mesas. He will also talk about the history of the Hopi festivals and museum's relationship with the Hopi people, past and present.

The Nuvatukya'ovi Sinom Dance Group will perform the Buffalo Dance. The Buffalo Dance is performed on the Hopi mesas as both entertainment and a reminder that the buffalo, antelope and deer used to roam in Northern Arizona.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is located three miles north of downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180. The Hopi Festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, during regular museum hours. Festival and regular museum admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (65 and older), $7 for students with a student ID, $6 for American Indians (10 and older), and $6 for kids (10-17 years old).

More information can be found at musnaz.org/support/membership or (928) 774-5213.

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