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Southwest Tribes: HOPI

The Hopi Language is part of the Uto-Aztecan Language family. The Hopi have matrilineal clans and a household composes of adult married sisters, their husbands and children, their mother, her husband, the unmarried brothers and a senior woman. An individual's identity is centered in their maternal group, matrilineal kin and matrilocal residency. Male kin are identified as supportive kin. At age 8-10, male children are given a non-clan godparent for a kachina initiation and whipping rite for four days in which their kachina name is given. At age fourteen a different ceremonial father is given for initiation into their proper clan kiva group. For girls, a similar ceremony takes place at menarche. The girls are secluded and grind corn for four days. After the ceremony, the maiden is re-dressed and her hair is done up in the butterfly style, signifying that she is ready for a mate. Weddings usually occur at ages 20-25 and courtships are left up to the individuals. During the formal wedding ceremony, the husband-to-be and his male relatives weave the bridal gown, belt, and white moccasins for his bride. During childbirth, only women, aunts and sisters are present and shamans are only called in during an emergency. The mother-in-law cuts the umbilical cord, puts ashes on the baby's naval and then washes the baby. For 20 days, women on the husband's side of the family care for the mother and child and keep an ear of fresh white corn by them. On the twentieth day, the baby is named in a ceremony.

Back to Southwest Tribes
Back to Societies: North America
Hopi Links
Hopi Creation Story
Hopi Cultural Preservation Page
Hopi Tribe: Official Site
Old Oraibi
Uto-Aztecan Language Family

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Last updated 12.7.2014