The University of Arizona
 

The Hopi Documentary History Project

May 2004

Documentary Relations of the Southwest (DRSW), a major program of Arizona State Museum’s Office of Ethnohistorical Research (OER), is now in its fourth year of the Hopi Documentary History Project. This unique collaboration between the museum, the University of Arizona, and the Hopi Tribe employs primary archival materials from OER’s collection of microfilmed documents. The final product will be a documentary history of the Hopi during the Spanish and Mexican periods (1540–1848). Funding for the project has come from a series of renewable grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Graduate students from the UA anthropology and Spanish departments are working under the direction of ASM researcher Diana Hadley in conjunction with Tom Sheridan of the Southwest Center, Hartman H. Lomawaima, ASM director, and graduate students Dale Brenneman and Gillian Newell. After visits to archives in Spain, Mexico, and New Mexico, the team has assembled an initial selection of 91 documents that will either be included in the published volume or used for background information on Spanish contact with the Hopis (or Moquis, as the Spaniards called them). The documents describe Spanish contact with the Hopis and attempts to reconquer them after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. A team of seven graduate students is transcribing, translating, and annotating the hand-written documents, which range from the 16th through 19th centuries.

Professor Emory Sekaquaptewa of the UA’s Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology is senior consultant and has translated many of the documents from English to Hopi. Stewart Koyiyumptewa, archivist with the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, has conducted over a dozen interviews with members of the Hopi Tribe regarding oral historic memories of contact with the Spanish Empire or Mexican Republic. The interviews have been recorded and transcribed. The Hopi Tribe plans to incorporate the information into Hopi language programs and into the curriculum for junior and senior high school history classes.

Hopis have a special interest in historical issues related to tribal sovereignty. Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor, Jr. has stated that the Hopi people are keenly interested in knowing more about the Spanish perception of their people, the trade routes and trails described in Spanish documents, and the relationships between Hopis and their neighboring tribal groups. This type of collaboration between historians, anthropologists, and members of a Native group is a new direction in the preparation of documentary editions. Hadley commented that the Hopi perspective on contact with the Spaniards has previously not been presented beyond the tribe. “This is a wonderful opportunity to equalize the record,” she says.

The Hopi documentary history will take at least another year to finish. After this volume, the DRSW project hopes to continue the series with a volume on the O’odham peoples of southern Arizona and northern Sonora.