HOTEVILLA, Ariz. - It's been ten years since the start of the Hopitutuqaiki (Hopi School) located on Third Mesa, Hotevilla.
But this year has been the most successful for the Hopitutuqaiki, with more collaboration with outside support education agencies, additional funding and more national recognition around the Hopi summer art school's integration of Hopi values, customs and cultural strengths in the curriculum.
Sixty-five students signed up for a variety of traditional and contemporary Hopi art classes last summer. Most of the students were Hopi, but Navajo tribal members also attended as well as two non-natives.
In a cooperative venture this year, North Central College in Illinois used grant money from national corporations to help Hopi women establish full time arts-crafts businesses.
The Hopitutuqaiki is a school dedicated to developing an educational process derived exclusively from Hopi Indian philosophy, values and methods. Hopitutuqaiki uses the students own culture, background and cultural strengths as the basis for the curriculum and the educational process.
Hopi students have historically been taught in non-Native schools using methods and values designed for and derived from an outside culture.
This year is also the third year that quilting students have created an "Opportunity Quilt" used to raise money and awareness for the school..
The newest quilt titled "Katchina Spirits," 61 inches by 61 inches, features free-motion and paper piecing quilt methods and took five Hopi women a period of three days to complete under the guidance of master quilter Linda Visnaw of Lake Havasu.
Last year's Opportunity Quilt was shown in quilting and art shows, including at the Hopi Show in Flagstaff at the Museum of Northern Arizona, in Santa Fe during Indian Market, at Prescott's Sharlot Hall Indian Show and also in Lake Havasu.
"The Hopitutuqaiki quilting classes are really an opportunity for our Hopi quilters to learn from a nationally recognized master quilter either through our regular summer yearly class or through the exclusive Opportunity quilt class. Linda Visnaw is an excellent mentor and instructor," said Robert Rhodes, Hopitutuqaiki's facilitator.
Raffle tickets for this year's Opportunity Quilt can be purchased on-line at the schools' website: www.Hopischool.net or by mailing a check to Hopitutuqaiki at P.O. Box 56, Hotevilla, Arizona 86030. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.
The raffle drawing will take place in the summer of 2015.
The Hopitutuqaiki is supported by the Apex Foundation, the Colorado Plateau Foundation, the Frost Foundation, the Garlands Indian Gallery in Sedona, Hopi Education Endowment Fund and the World In Harmony Foundation as well as many individual donors.