Last week we were in Flagstaff Arizona to celebrate Mr.D’s birthday, discover this charming city that was new to us, and spend two days at the 6th Annual Hopi Festival, Hopi All-Native Arts & Cultural Festival. I’ve been to art fests all over the country and this one, well … if you’ve been thinking about visiting Flagstaff and want to experience a high quality exhibition of artworks, meet the artists, and buy authentic Native American jewelry, paintings, pottery, carvings and much more … mark your calendar now for fall of 2016. (And P.S. autumn, late September is one of the best times to visit the Southwest.)
(This #TBT re-post is from Sept of 2015. Current fest info: Hopi Festival Flagstaff)
The fest was located in the center of downtown Flagstaff. We found a place to park and followed the sounds of drumming to Heritage Square.
I was antsy to start exploring the artist’s tents, but the choreography, bright colors and beautiful handmade head dresses of the Hopi dancers caught our attention right away …
Here is a link to the list of Cultural Performers who danced: Hopi Butterfly and Buffalo Dances, Little Eagle, and other traditional dance and musical performances.
Here is a link with descriptions of the performers.
Turtle shells with bells (or maybe they were shells?) tied to his legs, that made rattling sounds.
What a special moment … that they shared these dances and performances with everyone.
Also, just a note … many of them paid for travel and lodging out of pocket to be a part of the fest, so if you see a bowl for donations be sure to drop any amount you can afford into the hat because it’s a huge help to the artists and their families.
I should point out that even though this was an event open to the public and lots of people were taking photos, I was sure to ask the event coordinator for permission to post these images. I also spoke with the artists individually to ask if I could feature them. Nobody declined, although one woman said that the leaders of her pueblo did not allow Facebook or social media, so I made a note of that.
Beautiful silver work by Fermin Hawee, ‘The Happy Hopi’ from Hotevilla, Arizona. This photo doesn’t do justice to his silver bracelet with stylized bear print. I got to hold it, see the story that circles around … absolutely exquisite.
‘Morning Kachina.’ He said that he chose this particular stone for the necklace because it reminded him of petroglyphs.
I love knowing the creative process of artists. Here he showed us how he sketches his designs first. And they all tell a story.
Eagle carving by Dee Edaakie from Zuni, New Mexico. Here he saw that the natural line within the red sandstone would create the eagle’s beak. The eye is turquoise.
He allows the stone to speak to him … so as he carved this white owl, the black part of the stone felt like a wing. And so it is.
He likes working with chunky odd-shaped stones because they hold more surprises.
Emmett Navakuku studied in Santa Fe at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He created these paintings for an upcoming children’s book called ‘Celebrate My Hopi Corn.’ (Blue corn was originally developed by the Hopi.) Mr. Navakuku was having a very good day when we met him … lots of interest in his work, and new collectors.
This extraordinary piece was made by Mary Garcia Seymour of Acoma Pottery. It won 1st Place at the New Mexico State Fair (among other awards) and I’m finding it hard to describe the detail of her work other than to say ‘it blew my mind.’ She will spend many months, close to a year on a single artwork. From the Puelbo of Acoma, she does not show online or with galleries, and does not do social media. Her work goes directly from her hands to yours.
All during the day, dancers, singers and musicians performed at Heritage Square …
Derrick Suwalma Davis, the seven time World Champion Hoop dancer, and he was amazing …
I wish I could have featured all of the artists at the festival. Perhaps this taste will entice you to visit next year. It is completely worth the trip.
Also, I have information on how to contact the artists featured here, so if you have a serious inquiry about their work please email me … amy(at)idorderthat(dot)com … and I will forward it to them for you. No commission involved, I’m just a huge fan.
About The Festival:
The first Market in 2010 was started to help artisans to sell their art and crafts following a major recession, and to introduce their way of life and rich culture to the public. The Hopi Festival brings to Flagstaff public education by way of art, traditional social dances and traditional foods. This event aims to bring the City of Flagstaff together with surrounding neighbors to learn from one another in unity, happiness and stewardship of the earth for all people of different walks of life.