The Hopi Woman
Honored on the Native American Women's Arch by the Hopi Tribe.
Honoring the Hopi Woman
For decades and spanning several generations, the Hopi people have lived at the current site and have been able to sustain themselves at the current home, commonly referred as the Hopi reservation. The basis for the Hopi to be at their site is based on a covenant the earliest Hopi have followed and one that is instilled and is still practiced to this day, and that is: the Hopi are to be the stewards of the land. By adhering to the prescribed covenant the Hopis would be able to endure and sustain their way of life, culture, religious and social traditions.
Eventually, as time progressed, with the Hopi culture evolving and pressured by the dominant culture, inclusive of modern and contemporary means, there has an impact on tradition norms, yet, Hopi way of life and culture continues to live on, and at the central of Hopi life, is the Hopi woman being responsible for sustaining Hopi culture and traditions.
For instance, the Hopi female is referred is as the 'fire keeper'. The literal meaning is to keep the home warm and, within this context, she also uses the fire to prepare and cook meals for the family, especially for the children. When she prepares meals, the Hopi woman always maintains positive thoughts as the meals are a reflection of her thoughts.
Hopi women participate in the various religious and social traditions. The women have their own sects, in which women have to be initiated to entering these societies. These sects follow a religious calendar as such; they play a significant role in the Hopi way of life. The Hopi clanship is passed on through the female side of Hopi life thereby the children will follow their mother's side of the clan. Another important function Hopi women perform are the birthing ceremonies. This important female role and responsibility is to provide the traditional bonding between the mother and her infant, which is a long drawn out tradition. Hopi Women also support and assist the men in the various ceremonies, through the preparation of food, and other related tasks or functions, which is dependent on the ceremony.
By today's standards, many Hopi women have acquired an education and hold jobs. However, because of the Hopi woman's importance in Hopi life, the roles and responsibilities are continually carried out as well as the eventual expectations as mothers and grandmothers.
Hopi women are considered the pillars of Hopi society, their roles in Hopi life is vital, significant and is of such importance that without them, many Hopi traditions would be lost.
The following is what we offer to be inscribed: 'The Hopi woman is fire keeper. Her role in the culture is vital, through her the clanship continues. In the modern world, she is educated, traditional, vibrant and a symbol of continued growth'.