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Hopi Origin Story, a PBS Native America Sacred Story

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Sacred Stories from PBS’ Native America shares animations depicting folklore from Native American cultures. This animated short from the series features a Hopi Origin Story:

“Many Native American peoples share a belief that they emerged from the Earth. The Hopi, the westernmost group of Pueblo Indians, is one of these peoples. The Hopi origin story has it that Hopis used to live beneath the earth. When it came time to emerge into the world, that Hopi met Maasaw, Caretaker and Creator of the Earth, and promised him they would help take care of the world as a trade-off for staying. The sacred story of Hopi origins includes a covenant that Hopi peoples will be stewards of the earth. After making this promise, Pueblo Indians began a sacred quest, under Maasaw’s order, to find “center spaces” and settle, and populations marked their settlements with spiral insignia as they found them. “

Maasaw
More from the Hopi Cultural Center:

“Today there are 34 living clans spread out among the 12 Hopi villages. Each clan is made up of individuals who trace their ancestry matrilineally back to a common ancestor who in turn forms the corpus of that clan’s particular history. Clans that mythically or historically migrated together since their emergence into this “Fourth world” are grouped into phratries that often work together to perform both social and ceremonial functions, duties and responsibilities within the village. Each village is self-governing and autonomous, and members of the Hopi tribe often identify themselves by their village and clan affiliations.”

four directions

“The Hopi are widely considered to be the “oldest of the native people” within north America and have current total population of nearly 14,212. The area historically claimed and inhabited by the Hopi people and that now surrounds the Hopi Reservation, is known as Black Mesa, a plateau which rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding grasslands, yet to the Hopi it is known as Tuuwanasave “the center of the universe”. Located in Northern Arizona, the Hopi Reservations encompasses approximately 1.5 million acres with an elevation of 7,200 feet, offering panoramic views of the surrounding low-altitude desert.”

traveling in a spiral

TEACHING RESOURCES
• PBS Learning Media: Hopi Origin Story Activity and Discussion Questions

Watch more Native American and indigenous stories:
• Hopi Dryland Farming: Growing corn with desert rainfall
• The Comanche and the Horse, a PBS Native America Sacred Story
• The word Indigenous, a CBC Kids News explainer

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