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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Pueblo people of the U.S. southwest, from Pueblo hopi, literally "well-mannered, civilized."


The Hopi are a Native American tribe, who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. As of 2010, there were 18,327 Hopi in the United States, according to the 2010 census. The Hopi language is one of the 30 of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The majority of Hopi people are enrolled in the Hopi Tribe of Arizona but some are enrolled in the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

When first encountered by the Spanish in the 16th century, the Hopi and the surrounding cultures were referred to as Pueblo people, because they lived in villages (pueblos in the Spanish language). The Hopi are descended from the Ancient Pueblo Peoples ( Hopi: Hisatsinom or ) who constructed large apartment-house complexes in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. They lived along the Mogollon Rim, especially from the 12th–14th century, when they abandoned their large villages.

The name Hopi is a shortened form of their autonym, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu ("The Peaceful People" or "Peaceful Little Ones"). The Hopi Dictionary gives the primary meaning of the word "Hopi" as: "behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite, who adheres to the Hopi way." In the past, Hopi sometimes used the term "Hopi" and its cognates to refer to the Pueblo peoples in general, in contrast to other, more warlike tribes.

Hopi is a concept deeply rooted in the culture's religion, spirituality, and its view of morality and ethics. To be Hopi is to strive toward this concept, which involves a state of total reverence and respect for all things, to be at peace with these things, and to live in accordance with the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator or Caretaker of Earth. The Hopi observe their traditional ceremonies for the benefit of the entire world.

Traditionally, Hopi are organized into matrilineal clans. When a man marries, the children from the relationship are members of his wife's clan. These clan organizations extend across all villages. Children are named by the women of the father's clan. On the twentieth day of a baby's life, the women of the paternal clan gather, each woman bringing a name and a gift for the child. In some cases where many relatives would attend, a child could be given over forty names, for example. The child's parents generally decide the name to be used from these names. Current practice is to either use a non-Hopi or English name or the parent's chosen Hopi name. A person may also change the name upon initiation into one of the religious societies, such as the Kachina society, or with a major life event.

The Hopi have always viewed their land as sacred. Agriculture is a very important part of their culture, and their villages are spread out across the northern part of Arizona. The Hopi and the Navajo did not have a conception of land being bounded and divided. They lived on the land that their ancestors did. On December 16, 1882 President Arthur passed an executive order creating a reservation for the Hopi. It was much smaller than the Navajo reservation, which was the largest in the country.

On October 24, 1936 the Hopi people ratified a Constitution. That Constitution created a unicameral government where all powers are vested in a Tribal Council. While there is an executive branch (tribal chairman and vice chairman) and judicial branch, their powers are limited under the Hopi Constitution. The traditional powers and authority of the Hopi Villages was preserved in the 1936 Constitution.

Today, the Hopi Reservation is entirely surrounded by the much larger Navajo Reservation. The two nations used to share the Navajo–Hopi Joint Use Area, but this was a source of conflict. The partition of this area, commonly known as Big Mountain, by Acts of Congress in 1974 and 1996, has also resulted in long-term controversy.

Hopi (disambiguation)

Hopi are a Native American people.

Hopi may also refer to:

  • Hopi language, Uto-Aztecan language spoken by the Hopi people
  • Hopi Reservation, Native American reservation for the Hopi and Arizona Tewa people
  • 2938 Hopi, main-belt asteroid
  • Hopi (train), a passenger train operated by the Santa Fe
  • Hopi (missile), a nuclear air-to-surface missile developed by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s
  • Hopi Dart, a sounding rocket
  • Hebi, also spelled as Hopi, city in Henan, China
  • Hands Off the People of Iran or HOPI, a British organisation
Hopi (missile)

The Hopi was an air-to-surface missile developed by the United States Navy's Naval Ordnance Test Station. Intended to provide a medium-range nuclear capability for carrier aircraft, the missile reached the flight test stage during 1958, but the project was cancelled following testing and no production was undertaken.

Usage examples of "hopi".

Now our own world was once like that starship, a little cosmos, bearing with it all the thousands of Earthborn cultures, Hopi and Eskimo and Aztec and Kwakiutl and Arapesh and Orokolo and all the rest.

Hopi Indians of North America, the Avestic Aryans of pre-Islamic Iran believed that there were three epochs of creation prior to our own.

Hopi, told me their koshares are like policemen who use laughter instead of guns and scorn instead of jails.

Mostly Hopi, it seemed to Chee, but he noticed Zuni Mudheads and the great beaked Shalako, the messenger bird from the Zuni heavens, and the striped figures of Rio Grande Pueblo clown fraternities.

Still, Big Bill Tenderwolf had taken him into his home in the Hopi village of Shongopovi and taught him the many rituals, customs and folklore of the Hopis.

San Francisco Peaks, howled across the emptiness of the Moenkopi plateau, and made a thousand strange sounds in windows of the old Hopi villages at Shongopovi and Second Mesa.

A Papago can understand a Hopi or Shoshoni about as well as a Spaniard could follow the drift of a Portuguese or Italian.

I drew upon memories of teenage wanderings in the mountains and deserts of New Mexico and Colorado, of later trips deep into the slickrock and sand dunes of Utah and California, the Navajo and Hopi country of Arizona, and such corners of Nevada as the spectacular sandstone formations of the Valley of Fire.

Our history tells us it was founded by the Hopi with the help of Tewa refugees fleeing from tribal wars.

The plane was flying over the Southwest now, toward the places where the desert people lived: Mohave, Yavapai, Zuni, Hopi, Apache, Navajo.

They started their season up in Hopi country, with the snake dance at the end of summer, and they kept on going, down through Zuni and over here to the pueblos of the Rio Grande.

Christopher Columbus, but only the Hopi and Zuni kids would hold up their hands.

The theory of the crime seems to be the Hopi took it when he did the Zuni robbery.

Window Rock house as the northern base of her endless research on the mythology of Navajo, Ute, Paiute, Zuni, Hopi, and any other tribes she could persuade to talk into her tape recorder.

Chee had first seen similar clowns perform at a Hopi ceremonial at Moenkopi when he was a child, and since then at other Hopi dances.