Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, Sept. 18

84th annual Hopi Festival showcases artistry, cultural traditions July 1–2

A traditional Hopi dancer prepares for a performance at the 2016 Hopi Festival.
Photo by Loretta McKenney.

A traditional Hopi dancer prepares for a performance at the 2016 Hopi Festival.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — More than 100 award-winning artists and presenters from the Hopi villages in northern Arizona will bring their cultural tradition and talent to the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) for the 84th annual Hopi Festival of Arts & Culture.

The Hopi Show is July 1-2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MNA, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff.


Attendees will enjoy two days of authentic food, artist demonstrations and musical and dancer performances by Tha ‘Yoties, Tyrone & The Ledge, flutist Fredrick Andrews and the Hopi Sinom dancers. A not-to-be missed children’s area with all day arts and crafts will entertain the young at heart.


Designed to provide visitors with a deeper insight and more meaningful understanding and appreciation of the Hopi people, the festival has become a regional tradition for artists and collectors alike, and for visitors seeking an authentic cultural experience in a more intimate setting. Festival attendees may purchase distinct art pieces directly from emerging and master Hopi artists including jewelry, paintings, katsina dolls, baskets, gourd rattles and pottery at a wide range of prices.

“The Hopi Festival is a wonderful cross-cultural experience that can be enjoyed by the entire family,” said Cristen Crujido, director of marketing and public affairs at MNA. “Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and share experiences.”

The Heritage Insights Series, featuring programs by Hopi artists and scholars highlight ancestry, cultural preservation and contemporary issues and challenges. Presentations include:

Freedom Songs with Ed Kabotie will address the concept of freedom from an indigenous perspective, highlighting the Pueblo Revolt, Hopi imprisonments at the close of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and how the face off at Standing Rock echoes issues on the Colorado Plateau.

Reggae Inna Hopiland, with Ed Kabotie, will perform music and speak on the unique popularity of reggae music in the Hopi culture. Beginning with a personal journey of musical influences, both traditional and contemporary, this presentation will highlight the Hopi’s, and other Colorado Plateau tribes’, deep connection to this musical genre.

Hopi Code Talkers I & II with journalist Patty Talahongva will discuss the lives and experiences of the Hopi men who served in World War II with distinction and devised a code using their native language to relay military messages during the war. Using words like eggs to denote bombs and a duck to describe a ship, the code was confusing even to other Hopi speakers and so intricate it was never broken by the enemy. Talahongva will also talk about how the government boarding school legacy also shaped the military service of American Indians. In part II off this presentation, Talahongva will share two mini documentaries she has produced: “Song of the Hopi,” featuring the veterans gathered, decades after the war, to raise the flag at an elementary school event and reminisce on their service and “Native Words, Native Warriors,” produced for the National Museum of the American Indian as part of a traveling exhibit and featuring interviews with Code Talkers from the Hopi, Navajo, Comanche and Meskwaki tribes. A Q & A will follow each screening.

Hopi pottery demonstration & discussion with Emerson & Dorothy Ami will also take place.

The Amis are traditional pottery artists from the Hopi village of Polacca. Together they have been making pottery for more than 30 years, a process that requires the discipline of selecting clay from the mesa, clay processing, hand coiling, polishing with rocks and outdoor firing. Just as they have been mentored by family and elders, the Amis continue the pottery tradition by presenting pottery classes and demonstrations throughout the Southwest.

Hopi Running I & II with Patty Talahongva will discuss the legacy of Hopi running and Hopi Olympic medal-winning runner Lewis Tewanima.

More information, including a complete list of scheduled performances and participating artists, is available by visiting or calling (928) 774-5213.

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