Last week we were in Flagstaff Arizona to celebrate Mr.D’s birthday, discover this ponderosa pine city and spend two days at the 6th Annual Hopi Festival, Hopi All-Native Arts & Cultural Festival. We are nation-wide art fest stalkers and this one, well … if you’ve been thinking about visiting Flag and want to experience a high quality exhibition of authentic native artworks … mark your calendar now for fall of 2016. (Tip: autumn, late September is one of the best times to visit the Southwest.)
All of the activity was located in the center of downtown Flagstaff. We found a place to park and followed the sounds of drumming to Heritage Square.
The beautiful handmade head dresses of the Hopi dancers caught our attention right away …
Hopi Butterfly and Buffalo Dances, Little Eagle, and other traditional dancers performed throughout the day.
Turtle shells with seashells tied to their legs created rattling sounds.
What a special moment … that they shared these dances and performances with everyone.
We should point out that even though this was an event open to the public and lots of people were taking photos, it’s always a good policy to ask the event coordinator for permission to post images. We also spoke with the artists individually to ask if we could feature them. Nobody declined, although one potter said that the elders of her pueblo did not allow Facebook or social media, so we made a note of that.
Beautiful silver work by Fermin Hawee, ‘The Happy Hopi’ from Hotevilla, Arizona. We held this silver bracelet and followed the pictorial story engraved around the circle.
‘Morning Kachina.’ Hawee said that he chose this particular stone for the necklace because it reminded him of petroglyphs.
We love knowing the creative process of artists. Here he showed us how the designs are first sketched out.
Eagle carving by Dee Edaakie from Zuni, New Mexico. Here Dee 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. As he carved this white owl, the black part of the stone felt like a wing. And so it is. For this reason he prefers to work with chunky odd-shaped stones because they hold many 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). She will spend close to a year on a single artwork, and the detail is from the steady hand of a master artist. 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.
Derrick Suwalma Davis, the seven time World Champion Hoop dancer …. amazing!
This event began in 2010 to help artists sell their work after the recession of 2008. It is also their way of introducing their way of life and culture to the public. It is a place of unity, happiness and stewardship of the earth for all people of different walks of life.
If you have the opportunity to go next year, we highly recommend it!
Wishing you happy discoveries!
Amy & Mr.D
Tip: 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.
You really make the most of living in and loving the southwest. Kudos!
Ms.M, many thanks! SWD was founded on our love of the Southwest and it’s a marvelous thing to find your forever home.
You have a great magazine here. That first photo of the Hopi dancer with the large colorful head pieces looks like a Life Magazine cover. Really enjoyed this one very much.
Doc, thank you so much. If you ever have the chance to go – take it!
What a beautiful photo essay of a special event. These artists are amazing.
Barbara, if you are able to go -DO! It’s one of our favorite art festivals and the dancers are wonderful.