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Hopi Marketplace: Museum features Native past and present

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Hopi artisans are sharing the mysteries of their culture at the 70th Hopi Marketplace at the Museum of Northern Arizona this weekend.

The oldest Hopi art show in the world will feature traditional music, dancing, food and art, but youll also find modern Hopi life, including a special appearance by Casper Lomayesva, a Hopi/Dine reggae recording artist performing at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre, 15 W. Aspen. Tickets are $10. Lomayesva will be at the Museum signing his new CD on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, theres a Creative Corner for decorating cookies with Hopi petal patterns from 14 p.m. in the Branigar Courtyard.

Both days feature many ways to get to know the Hopi Tribe.

Learn about traditional culture as well as issues facing modern Hopis, such as how their art designs are being stolen, reproduced and marketed worldwide. The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office will discuss Fake Arts and Crafts vs. Authentic at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

New this year, Walter Koyawena from the Village of Sipaulovi will play and teach ancestral Hopi games such as tops, hoops and totolospi, a colorful board game.

Theres dancing throughout the weekend with the Randall Mahle, Todd Honyouma and Sons and the Hopi Hoiyum dance groups. And at noon each day, the courtyard will fill with the flute music of Ernie Northrup.

Forty Hopi artists are bringing their work to the market to compete in juried shows. Many will be on hand to talk about how they weave cultural stories in their creations. From Duane Tawahongvas silver overlay jewelry to pottery by Mary Nez and katsina dolls from Delbridge Honanie, youll get to ask about technique and inspiration.

Honanie says he still gathers his own cottonwood for his katsina dolls because finding the wood adds to his creation because thats the way his ancestors did it. The dolls are colorfully painted to attract good spirits and are used in numerous Hopi ceremonies, many performed to induce agricultural success.

Accompanying the Hopi Marketplace is a photography exhibit about Hopi agriculture. The Hopi have been farming in the arid mesa country of northern Arizona for more than 1,500 years.

Ethnobotany tours with Max Taylor will uncover ancient traditions of using high altitude plants for food and medicine. Taylor guides 45-minute walks in the forest behind the museum. If the hike makes you hungry, head to the front parking lot for a taste of piki bread or parched corn and cooking demonstrations by Laura Nasetoynewa and Elfreda Holmes.

Learn about the environment at Learning Through Hopi Songs with Anita Poleahla and Ferrell Secakuku who use puppets, language and singing to teach about nature at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

If you want to further your experience, find out how to visit the mesas with representatives from the Village of First Mesa, who will let you know how to tour their home on the Walpi pueblo.

The Museum is three miles north of downtown of Highway 180. The Marketplace is from 10 a.m.4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students, $2 for children ages 7-17 and free to young children and members. For more information, call 774-5211 or visit

— Arizona Daily Sun


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